We are spending the night in good ole Roswell, New Mexico. I find myself thinking of Truth or Consequences, NM., as we walk down the main street of the city. There is a great quirkiness, and unique identity that highlights the special characteristics of both cities. Each location offers a different perspective of what it means to live in small town New Mexico.
I am very grateful to what I learned while serving in small cities. Deming took me out of the craziness of Houston, while Truth or Consequences taught me how to be a pastor. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for each of these places. While in the small towns in which I lived, I learned how to live in community. Yes, I came from a big city, but there were so many people around, that life became cramped and very seldom would we bump into people that we knew. In a small town, it was rare to go out and not see a familiar face.
I learned to appreciate the people that mattered in my life. I continue to give thanks for great friends from Houston, as well as the new friends that I continue to meet along the way. Each person leaves a profound legacy in my life, and for that I am truly blessed. All of these lessons I learned from small town living.
Today, I am grateful for what I continue to learn about myself and my relationship to those around me. I am grateful for the friendships that withstand the test of time, and continue to matter and make a difference in my life. I approach each new encounter as a possibility to learn a new way of living, a new of loving. Every life matters and can inform how each of us approach our next adventures.
Praise be to God for the journey. For it is our commitment to following our path that we encounter the people that illumine our hearts and bring meaning to our experiences. I am blessed beyond my wildest imagination to know that different personalities come into my life, and teach me how to thrive in the riches of God. Yes the vacation begins, but the road is paved with love and gratitude.