I took the children on their first field trip Thursday. The coordinator for this trip called it, “Come to the Country.” She had a big day planned for all of us and a few surprises up her sleeve.
She invited us to visit Fayette, AL. Pronounced “fyet,” for those of you who are saying “fayit” in your heads right now. Really though, only the people who live in Fayette pronounce it that way: that’s how you know they’re from Fayette. Lest you think I’m insulting the citizens of Fayette, let me assure you that the way they pronounce Fayette is a source of community pride.
We began with a visit to the Fayette Civic Center and Art Museum. Wait, let me back up to the beginning of the day because on the “Good Bloggage Scale” it’s at least a 6. Or it might be a 4, but I’m trying to be optimistic.
Thursdays begin with my pastor’s wife. On this particular Thursday morning, she challenged me with Colossians 3. She reminded me to live my life carrying out the thankless duties of homemaking and home schooling as unto the Lord. She said, “Seemingly mundane activities are transformed in the light of eternity. Work as unto the Lord, and the unseen Father will one day reward thee openly.” She told me about one of her mother’s refrigerator magnets that reads, “Duty does things well, but love does them beautifully.” Oh, how I need to work on doing things beautifully and as unto the Lord! These are things that I know, but I do not do. Some days are better than others, but doing things “unto the Lord” is not my daily practice. Too many days I do my duties selfishly and with a frown. Before we wrapped up our discussion, we decided to memorize Colossians 3:12-17.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
I hurried from Mrs. T’s house to my own. I packed up the kids and our supplies for our field trip and hit the road. I had to stop at the grocery store to get some cash. I should have stopped for gas, too, but decided to take my chances on getting to Fayette (about 41 miles away) with just 1/4 of a tank. As I passed the last chance for gas, Karl’s voice popped into my head: You should always gas-up before you leave town.
About half-way there, I started to panic. The gauge was hovering over the E line. I remembered a little store called Oswalt’s a few miles back and decided, much to the annoyance of my children, to turn around. Pulling up to Oswalt’s was like pulling into 1991. Oswalt’s had two pumps: one for diesel and one for unleaded. I hadn’t seen pumps like these in about 10 years. No buttons. No scrolling digitized letters telling me my next step. I stood for a moment just staring at the old pump. I couldn’t tell if it worked or not. I even whispered a prayer to remember how to work the thing! Oswalt’s was a cash only establishment. Faded, handwritten signs scattered on the glass windows and the door and on the pumps alerted customers that Oswalt’s does not accept credit/debit cards. Good thing I stopped for cash. The kids cheered when we pulled away, and Noah yelled from the rear, “Did you buy enough to get us to Fayette?”
(photo of mailbox art by Rev. Benjamin F. Perkins)