I once read a quote, "The really happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour." That's a great quote but I have to admit I've not always enjoyed the scenery of a detour. Especially if I have planned to be somewhere by a certain time and the detour happens. Around here there seems to be a lot of tree trimming and survey work that will bring two lanes down into one and waiting your turn to be able to get through the area slowly and without hurting anyone in the process. Google girl took me way out of the way to my intended destination this morning of First Baptist Asheville. The Newcomers to Asheville group meets there on the second Monday of the month. Last month I had a delivery and couldn't come but today I pulled myself out of heavy sleep to get up, get ready and get going to the meeting today. On the way I was a witness to one wreck only by sound because I was waiting at a light but I think a car that nearly caused me to wreck about a mile back was the same car that caused the trouble later. We sat for a good while before proceeding on. I made the turn at the light and another wreck was in the middle stages, police on the scene, everyone accounted for and the cars almost ready to be cleared. By this time I was going to be more than fashionably late, so I punted and headed toward Biltmore Village to find Wink Salon. I missed it on the first pass but I found it and a free parking spot. I went in to check it out and schedule an appointment. They were in the middle of a training session. It felt like Emmanuel. Anyway, I have an appointment at 11:00 tomorrow with a senior stylist but who has only been with them for three months. I am taking a chance with her because as Stevie explained to me about being an Oribe salon and what it takes to be able to carry the product, so I feel comfortable going there. She asked if I wanted color because I need color but Stevie is going to take care of that for me. I have been going to the same salon for eons and this is a wobbly step. I am thankful my hair grows quickly. I drove over to Biltmore Village to walk around and look at the shops. It was getting close to 11:00 and the idea of going to La Cantina for lunch came to me. The Mexican food there is very close to Texas quality. Lunch was delicious and since I was right there, a trip to the Biltmore seemed to be the next thing to do on this detour of a day. I drove through the gardens marveling at the beauty and then headed to Antler Hill Village. I stopped in at Traditions, one of my favorite shops and one of my favorite people, Norma, was working there today. We got caught up with each others happenings and then the big step on her part, she called me Nancy instead of Mrs. Monarch...then she asked if that was ok? For sure! I like her and she gave me some good suggestions of how to truly enjoy my pass holder card. I told her about The Pretty Place, we talked about finding good churches and we are letting the Dallas/Houston thing go. That is kind of a joke for her cause she felt it stronger than I ever have. I made a good decision to come on home because that part of Asheville got some big storms, with lots of rain. We got some rain too but the blessing is the rain cooled air.
Just a month ago I would have told you I was considering pulling out all the dead stuff in the backyard but wisdom from a friend, Vivian, told me to wait and see. What looks dull and dead is really getting ready to spring into life. And you know what? She is so correct. There are all kinds of flowers blooming, shrubs with flowers and a huge rose bush that is sprouting some of the most beautiful roses. I've added a few plants here and there but if is so fun to see life popping out all over. These two things, enjoying the scenery of a detour and what looks dead is really full of life seem to describe the theme of life for me at this time. Then our Sunday School lesson from Haggai yesterday has kind of brought a lot of my disjointed thoughts together and has caused me to consider my way. In chapter one verse five the LORD says, think carefully about what you are doing and then in verse seven He says, pay close attention to these things also...NET Bible. The NIV says, consider your ways. The Temple was in disrepair but the people were attending unto their own houses and lands before good ol' Haggai was told to bring this to the people's attention. The people were to go to the mountains to get supplies to rebuild the Temple...and of course you can totally see where this is going. It feels like Roy and I have been less committed and turned more toward us, not the Lord. We became those "kind of people." It happened so quickly, we didn't even notice. We went from people totally involved at church, I had been on staff for goodness sake to the people who come every other week and then we didn't come to church for a month of Sundays from time to time. We were just supporting the park offsite initiative...we parked way offsite. Now we were not out living a wild life, just the opposite. Roy is involved with a Men's Bible study and mission team at local church in Rancho de Five. I was involved with Community Bible Study. Roy found himself not liking the drive into Houston on Sundays and he didn't like the fact that the budget was given a name for two years. He's an accountant, he has his pocket protector/bean counter ways and this was out of his comfort zone. There were a few other things he didn't quite like and some of those were how he perceived I was being treated. Many Sundays it was easier to stay home than ask Roy if he please would come to First. Truthfully, I was mainly going for the music and looked forward to the day when my health would let me rejoin choir. When no one, this doesn't include my close friends, but when no one from my SS or LBS classes ever called to see why I hadn't been to LBS in a long time, like several years, it added fuel to his fire. It got to where we came a little more regular but it was in for big church and out to brunch. I went to class a couple of times but it was really tough. You can feel the snub and know it is best just to keep a low profile with some people. During this time we were attending church here every chance and time we came up this way and after we joined I jumped in with both feet going to SS and joined choir. Haggai is calling me to consider other ways I have neglected His ways and life. It is easy to have an ongoing conversation with Him here because of the beauty and wonders of creation. I mean when you come out of Target and the view is breathtaking, how can you not praise Him! I realize that several years of neglect takes it toll but you don't seem to notice it when you are there. So, this detour of living in the mountains, saved me even more than just my health, it has restored my spiritual health. We should have looked harder for a local church in Rancho de Five. We both do better in a smaller church environment because it keeps me from living in cynical land and it keeps Roy more involved because he loves to serve and he is not counting amazings in a church service. The things that have bugged us would be any big church, especially when you know too much of the back story, but this is what comes with mega but a lot of really good things come with mega as well. For those things we are ever thankful for First Baptist. It's great to have a pastor with a pastor's heart and just so happens to have great leadership skills. He doesn't refer to himself as the leader which is what happens when you need a CEO/pastor role because of size of church. His points aren't tweet-able and limited to 140 spaces. There are lay people filling in different roles here because they love the Lord, they see the need and they aren't looking to launch a personal ministry and they love what they are doing. It restores my soul. A smaller church is concerned with the ends of the earth but works so hard in their Judea, right where we live but that also includes the greater weird Asheville vicinity. In retrospect we were wrong, I was wrong to hang onto First Baptist when clearly we were done, actually Roy was done. I didn't want to be done though. It has been an interesting prayer conversation with Him...I've been doing a lot of listening and because of that listening, the result will be a lot of serving. So, I need to quit doing comparisons all the time mentally between the past and now. I know that every church or every ministry has issues, I am not that naive but I'm thankful for the wonderful detour through the mountains and valleys of NC. I'm thankful for making new friends and I'm thankful for my long time friends. Blessed by the name of the Lord.
This detour was necessary. It is life saving! Life is springing out of this dull and dead soul, each day is new complete with those new compassions and mercies every morning. I'm glad I didn't get pulled too soon when there is a lot of life left in me and a lot of heart to serve the Lord. Psalm 92:14-15
"The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing their way to joy." Psalm 19:7-8 MSG