My Mayberry

Pam’s Journey ~ Day: 236

Miles Walked: 591

Miles Remaining: 409

Days Remaining: 130

I was able to visit a friend last week, and I must say that I felt some envy of her daily life. I know… that’s not a good thing, but I LOVED her job. She gets to go to work every day where people come in and hang out, encourage each other, and thank one another for what’s happening in their life. She owns a nutrition club and gets to help people every day who want to improve their way of life and that usually means that she’s going to be around positive people who are trying to make good choices.

Being surrounded by positive people.. yeah, that’s sort of my dream.

I enjoy helping people. Giving and caring, trying to make a difference.. that’s my thing. But, it seems that sometimes the more you give and try to help, the more some people just want to suck it out of you and drown you in their selfish negativity. What’s up with that? When did it become the norm for people to use harsh words and rudeness to get what they want? My friend/receptionist was telling me a story of someone she talked to last week.. this lady said to her, “why don’t you get off your butt and make my life a little easier?”. I think that means the same thing as “could you please help me?”, but apparently it’s easier to be rude than to pull out the manners card. That kind of blows my mind and what scares the heck out of me is imagining what the world is going to be like when the kids growing up with that influence is going to be like in another 20 years. Actually, I do know what’s up with that… it’s not God’s plan but I’m guessing that it makes Satan plenty proud of himself.

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Galatians 5:14.  That can be a hard one.. especially if we don’t know each other.

I’m pretty sure that I had my vision of “the perfect” community before I ever heard the Rascal Flats song, “Mayberry”. Cheery houses with lots of windows, big front porches, front yards full of flowers that bloom through every season, and neighbors that you know well enough to keep your doors unlocked and not be shocked if they just come on in when they want to visit. I imagine a neighborhood full of people that you know, that know your kids, people who help each other if they need it, and neighbors that look out for each other. Call me crazy, right? I guess I want my Mayberry with an ice cold diet cherry coke.

Well I miss Mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking ice cold Cherry — Coke
Where everything is black & white
Picking on a Six String
Where people pass by and you call them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by

I grew up in the country and living in “the city” for years has worn on my idea of the perfect place to live. When I was growing up, I remember wanting so badly to have cable tv and to be able to have pizza delivered for supper. Since achieving those goals and having everything that I could ask for be a 10 minute drive away or less, I’m ready to move back out to the country and slow it down. It being Life.

The truth is, we don’t live on tree-lined streets with white picket fences. These are the types of communities that movies portray as perfect and safe. Most of us live in garage-door communities. We come in and out of our garages with little or no interaction with one another. That was me. Then I started feeling the nudge to get to know my neighbors. I started feeling that it was time to meet the people living next to me, maybe across from me, or the ones that I see on my way in and out of my neighborhood every day.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” ~ John 13:34-35 

There’s not a lot of “loving each other” going on these days. It’s more like the “all about me” epidemic that has plagued the world. I want to change that. Am I praying for world peace? I just want to start with neighbor peace, parking garage peace, and co-worker peace. Then move it to traffic peace, grocery store peace, and maybe Black Friday Shopping peace. It’s easier to be rude and selfish to people that you don’t know so how about we start getting to know people. This isn’t an easy thing for me because I tend to be a house potato. Not a couch potato, but I like being in the comfort zone of my house. Getting “out there” isn’t an easy thing for me but I don’t think Jesus’ disciples reached people by sitting in their house or sunning themselves in their privacy fenced back yards. My idea of the perfect neighborhood isn’t just going to happen by itself.

On the weekends, my walk usually starts a little later in the morning than the normal 6am weekday walk. A few weeks ago, as I was walking around 7am, I noticed there were people out sitting in yard chairs on their porch or even at the edge of their garage. They were drinking coffee and reading their papers. They almost all waved to me after I waved to them and greeted them with a “Good mornin!”.  Some even asked how I was doing. The longer I walked, and the more people that I had interaction with, I realized that the vision of my Mayberry neighborhood wasn’t that far off from what I was walking in my very own neighborhood. We’re not exactly a white picket fence kind of neighborhood but I have some good neighbors… I just need to get out of my box and meet them, help them, and get to know them. My vision of the perfect community might be right outside my front windows.

 

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