Stories from the Road: Twenty Years of Growth

I finally convinced Tracie to take a drive past our first house during our latest trip to Texas.  We were in the neighborhood, literally driving within a stone’s throw of it.  Just a slight detour, and we could see what had become of the place since we sold it almost 20 years ago.

I expected it to be different.  I did not expect it to be that different.

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Ice cream, walks, and personal growth

When we lived in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, we lived a short walk from a major intersection, 91st Street and Aspen Avenue.  I would often take Samson, the Brittany spaniel we owned at the time, for walks around the neighborhood, and occasionally I could convince the girls to come with me.  Yes, they loved their daddy.  Yes, they loved Samson.  But mainly, they loved ice cream.  And on the opposite corner of the intersection of 91st and Aspen, there was a Braum’s ice cream parlor.  Samson and I would cross both streets with the girls and then wait on the sidewalk and watch through the glass door as two little girls, not ten years of life between them, walked up to the counter with a $5 bill and ordered some ice cream.

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Let my people grow

One of the first things you notice at Walt Disney World is the preponderance of “Mickey-shaped” items.  From pencil tops to fireworks, everything seems to consist of two small circles sitting atop a larger circle.  Sometimes, as with shrubbery, the shape is forced upon the item; those in charge simply alter it until it achieves the proper proportions.  Sometimes, as with ice cream, the item is formed inside a mold.  The latter of these can get downright creepy at times.  Forcing a pumpkin to grow in a “Mickey” shape by placing it in a mold in its infancy is … weird.  The desired effect is achieved, yes.  But at some point a living organism has to be allowed to grow in its own direction.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ve just seen one too many Mickeys over the last seven years.

Anyway, striking a balance between fostering growth and channeling that growth has been a bit of an obsession with me over the last 23 years. 

 

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Candidate

I know it’s the eleventh hour and all that, but I may have found my presidential candidate.  I found an envelope pushed under the church’s front door with “To Pastor” scrawled on the envelope.  After bemoaning yet another abuse of the Biblical term “pastor” (Ephesians 4:11 — a church overseer, not an evangelist or a teacher, terms which are noted separately), I opened it up. 

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