Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Small-town Joys...

“I live a small life… well, valuable, but small.” 
(Meg Ryan – “You’ve Got Mail”)

I was trying to comprehend why I love my life here so much.
There isn’t really anything special that goes on in this town. People are the same here as they are anywhere…
We go to work, go shopping, and keep a relatively slow pace (well, for Ontario, we are slow-paced… if you compared here with – say – Nova Scotia or other such delightful places, we are chaotic!)
And people are born here, they fall in love, they live a great small-town life, and they die.
This town I live in has its wonderful quirky people… the man who sits on a park-bench just so he can snag the next person walking by and keep them for 20 minutes talking about nothing in particular. Or the lady who randomly stops you in the middle of the drug-store just to catch you up on the latest gossip, about people you’ve never even met. Or even the harmless drunk who knows everyone by name, but is never seen sober even at 9 in the morning. And don’t forget my favourite… the button man. He rides around on his bike and sells hand-painted buttons (you know, the kind you pin on your shirt) shaped like flowers and lady bugs and rainbows for $2, and claims that’s how he makes his living! J
My town is quite picturesque… beautiful parks by the river – ducks and all. A downtown café with hand-made chocolates, great coffee in the winter, ice-cream in the summer. A clock-tower surrounded by park-benches and memorials to the veterans who gave their lives so we could live free in this beautiful country…
You get the idea… it’s a regular small-town in the middle of nowhere.

It’s also the kind of town where kids grow up… kids with great potential, though they never know how much potential they have. Kids who, by the time they hit high school, will have succumbed to the lowest expectations our society offers to this generation.
Kids with a God-planned future to change things and live with a passion for God that this world has yet to see.
And yet these kids will grow up and spend all their lives trying to get out of this small town (and not saying all of them won’t, but the majority will stay) and in the end, they might wonder why they stayed and if their lives were effective at all.
I am one of these kids… didn’t see the potential. Didn’t know God had a plan for my life… for years I dreamt of getting out of small towns.
Yet God keeps taking me back to these little places that He created.
People are people. No matter where.
And God loves people.
So here I am. 23 years old… and I’ve fallen in love with these small towns all over again. (I say this in the plural sense, since there are so many towns in my area that I spend various amounts of time in)
God brought me back here, and though I have a love for adventure and the unknown, not to mention this desire for TRAVEL is crazy strong sometimes!
But I had a thought the other day as I strolled main street, coffee in hand, after just saying goodbye to a best friend before heading back to work…
What would life have been like if we hadn’t come back to the small town?
What if I didn’t work where I am, and didn’t have the friends that I do… I would sooner have it so the sun didn’t shine or even set in clouds of fiery pink and purple… though it does that here almost every night as well.
What if I hadn’t listened to God when He said to stay here?
None of this would have happened and I wouldn’t be who I am today.
It’s true, nothing’s perfect… and some days I just want to run far away from it all…
But God’s faithfulness never changes.
It’s funny how all of a sudden life isn’t about what I want anymore… but it’s so strange how, when I finally realized it’s all about what He wants, turns out it’s exactly what I really wanted in the first place.
So if you are reading this… remember: what HE wants is most important. And when He’s directing your life, nothing will compare to the joy that comes in seeing His plans unfold for you.
It’s what you really want, but might not know it yet. J

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
      I will advise you and watch over you."
 - Psalm 32:8. 

1 comment:

  1. You have painted a beautiful picture with your words, Chelle. I love the love and vision you have for your town! Can't wait to walk down mainstreet with you, coffee in hand, soon!! hugs