Life from the rear-view mirror

Leaving Texas… VOL. 122

August 17, 2016 | Comment

ToyotaLynchburg, VA August 1980

I loaded up my little orange 1973 Toyota Corola that I’d purchased from Les Speakman in Nashville a couple years before, and headed southwest to a little town in Texas on Lake Ray Hubbard…Rockwall.
Rockwall was truly a sleepy little town back then…I still have fond memories of Grandma’s fried chicken, sweet tea and late nights with the boys ( Stan Kellam, Mark Roberts and Mark Hoffman ) at the Truck Stop. These days, Rockwall, TX would no longer be recognizable, or so I’m told.
But anyway…I was on the road once again to what I thought was going to be home…and a place I could settle down. I’d meet and marry a nice Texas girl, buy a pair of boots, get a big belt buckle and maybe starch my jeans…buy a horse or two…oh yea…and finish my pilot’s license, (a quest I had started when I was 16.)

I was close to having life all figured out…or so I thought.
Eight years into it and life wasn’t so “figured out.” I was broke, didn’t have a girlfriend, wore out my boots and had my horses repossessed. ( I actually did have horses)
I hocked everything I had to get my pilot licenses, spent a night in jail for writing a $15 bad check to Kroger’s for food (they are tough in Texas) and was late on my rent.

Something had to change.
Thankfully it did…and I’m writing this from Rochester, NY and not Texas…married with 4 kids and a dog. (I’ve given up on horses…)

So what does this have to do with anything?

This morning as I was putting dishes into the dishwasher I saw two old white bowls on the shelf that I had brought back from my first real, on my own, apartment in Texas, 28 years ago. They are both pretty weary, but they are the only things that remain from my sojourn in the Lone Star State…except for memories.
They are a reminder of the journey that I had been on. I would like to say, “The journey that God led me on…” but God wouldn’t have wanted to take any credit for that crazy 8 years…

In 1988 I left Texas in a big U-Haul truck with Mom and Dad stuffed into the front seat…towing my car. It was a long 1434 miles back to NY… and one of the lowest points of my relatively young life. I’ve only been back to Texas twice. Once for a friend’s wedding and once to do some business. I truly miss my friends there…but I don’t miss Texas…not even a little.
You know…I really should just throw those bowls away. They aren’t much good any longer. They are chipped and cracked and we only use them if there is nothing else clean. But I digress…again.
For many years now I’ve been more attuned to what God is doing in my life. I’m in the Word more…I’m trying to lead my family well…and I’m involved in ministry once again. Life doesn’t look anything like I imagined it would as I was driving to Texas so many years ago…but that is a good thing.
As I feel the rough edges of one of the old white bowls that is holding my cereal this morning (I forgot to run the dishwasher…) I’m reminded that God is not finished with us…until he’s finished with us. If you can still fog a mirror…God can still use you. If you’re available. It doesn’t matter if you have rough edges, cracks or chips. God can still fill up your bowl with good things from his hand.

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