SMALL TOWNS & SIMPLE TIMES
Daydreaming in Cinematic Color
There are days when the big city just gets to me. I'm not sure if it is sensory overload or just the busy-ness of it all. I remember living in small town in Minnesota 30 years ago and there were certain things about it that were really attractive. The town square was quaint and you could walk around it and feel peaceful. Everyone was friendly and the shops were quaint, though many were closed down. The sad part about small towns is there are far too many empty shops on their main drag. Most of these small towns are older and some are often run down to the point of crumbling empty buildings. They are just empty shells of what once was a bustling downtown.
I've driven through small towns and thought how cool it would be to head up a project of revitalization and bring the town back to life. I can see it in my minds eye, a bustling town square with life and activity for everyone. It is still a simple life, but it isn't so depressing any more. In our small town, they were revitalizing it's town square. I don't know how far they got with it, but there were a lot of new businesses and I was even privileged to paint a few signs for a couple of the new stores. That was a lot of fun.
I'm not sure if it is my age or the fact that I am a dreamer that causes me to want to move anonymously to a small town in rural America and set up a coffee shop where I can just exist in a simple space. I've thought about this a lot lately. I can see me and Wagsley the wonder dog greeting our customers, while I serve warm pastries and hot beverages to everyone. There would be music softly playing in the background and conversation at every table. In my mind it is a scene from a movie about a woman who just wants to leave all the past behind and start fresh where no one knows her. There is an air of mystery about her that attracts the locals to her shop. Some are there for a bit of gossip, and some just because they like her smile.
I'm not sure where the movie goes from there, because I'm always interrupted by the bustle of life here in the city. Daydreaming while driving can be dangerous! Teasing of course. My daydreaming usually occurs when I am at the dog park walking and breathing in the fresh air. Sometimes the city is so stifling and the dog park reminds me that there are places in this world that are simple and untroubled. Small town America is attractive to me because of these qualities. The only problem with small towns is that many of them have died because the population has decreased and businesses have closed. It is a shame as they really are a part of Americana that many of us only experience in the movies.
While I was thinking about this blog I was wondering if so many of us aren't like these small towns, in need of a bit of revitalizing. Life can get you bogged down with everything these days. We are so busy with work and activities that we neglect those historical parts of us we used to know and love. For me I have neglected my "hands on" art. I used to love to paint and create with my hands. My art room was full of projects just waiting to be started and finished. Now it sits boxed up in a bin. I look at it and think, "I'd really like to...." But I don't do anything with it. There are just too many other things that have to be done. "Maybe Saturday or Sunday I will..." There it sits, untouched.
What is that nostalgic part of you that needs to be revitalized? I Imagine Jesus as the city planner of my life. He has a plan for each of us. Not just a plan for what you will be when you grow up, but a revitalizing plan for your entire being. He wants to take what is neglected and turn it into a new warm an inviting part of you so that others can come and be blessed by the love He put there. We are each our own small town in a way. We have much to offer those around us and we hide it or ignore it because we are so very busy with life. Imagine Jesus working his plan and then imagine yourself accepting that plan. It will change the landscape of your entire life. It won't be an overnight transformation. It took years to bring you to this point, but the end result is something quite amazing.
For me, the last 9 months of blogging has been the beginning of this revitalizing project. It has been quite the ride. I've found a creative part of me that was closed up for decades. One of my favorite classes as a senior in high school was creative writing. Sadly, I have none of my compositions from 40 years ago. But just like an old town, I have a chance to write a new chapter and share it with all of those who have come to visit. It has really been quite fun, and I'm so glad you've joined me.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
Isaiah 43:19 "Behold, I am going to do something new, Now it will spring up; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert."
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."