Pastor John Lestock
In his poem "The Mending Wall," the great American poet, Robert Frost, tells of his neighbors' curious comment: "Good fences make good neighbors," the neighbor casually asserts. But Frost, unwilling to accept this line of thought, questions: "WHY do fences make good neighbors?" Before I build a wall I'd ask, "Who am I walling in, and who am I walling out? To whom am I likely to give offense?" Then Frost offers his classic line, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall."
I have another birthday breathing down on me this next month. I would like to believe I'm still in the "middle aged" category, but my wife reminds me this is only true if I'm planning on living to be 120 or 130 something!
I received notice this past week that "someone else" died! You know "someone else," don't you? "Someone else" is that unnamed, nebulous and mythical person we often find ourselves referring to when we say, "Let someone else do it! Give that responsibility to someone else! Let someone else pay for it!" We've heard about "someone else" our whole lives, especially when it comes to the church, even if you haven't met him face to face. But now it's official: "Someone else" is dead and gone and he won't be around anymore for us to depend on!
As a member of the aging baby boom generation, I find myself reflecting more and more on the values our generation has championed and espoused over these past decades. (We were convinced we could make the world a better place!) I am struck mostly by our emphasis on free thinking, personal choices and independent decision making. The music, movies and literature of our generation lifted these values and encouraged us to "do your own thing." It became the "American Way," and the "national anthem" for those of us coming of age in the 1960's and 1970's.
My grandfather was one of the most influential people in my life. He lived on the next block over from us and I probably spent as much time with him, as a child, as I did with my father. Gramps was a gentle man with a big heart who could make or fix just about anything. He was well-liked and had wisdom that went far beyond his fifth grade education. He was a hero to me and I always felt we shared a special relationship, though he never suggested he loved his four other grandchildren any less.
A little boy sat in his sandbox one Saturday morning. He was playing with his pail and shovel as well as a number of toy cars and trucks. As he went about building roads in the soft sand, he came across a large rock at the bottom of his sandbox. He dug around the rock then pushed and shoved it until he had pried it loose. Then he tried to move it off to the side of the sandbox with the hopes of getting it up over the small wall and out of the sandbox.