It’s funny , I have probably driven  up this road more than a couple of thousand times in that last 11 years and yet today I noticed things that I hadn’t before… Not that I hadn’t ever seen them before , but I supposed today I really appreciated them.  The small horse farm between our neighborhood and the grocery store seemed to reach out and pull me in – almost as if I was moving in slow motion so that I could fully take in the charm of the old barn , the horses and the tiny house.  I thought to myself of how awesome it was nestled here in suburbia between the ever-growing development of new neighborhoods and shops  , that right here in this 1 mile stretch of road  –  beauty still remained…I appreciated the 3 dead oak trees that I have wondered for years would ever fall , and marveled at them because they hadn’t… They just stood there stoic against the backdrop of  changing fall leaves ,almost as if they were putting on one last show for me before I go…

I just took it all in… Because in a week , my scenery will change. Not that I don’t look forward to the move and the opportunity before me to work with the church there – I mean I still can’t believe that this work will not only be the thing that sustains me and my family ,but it is the work that I truly ,truly love to do… I can barely stand the anticipation of waiting to just to “get there” , and yet –  there is sadness..though I wouldn’t  exactly call it sadness ,but I suppose more of a” nostalgia in real-time” …. It’s bittersweet  – not just leaving  my friends and family ,but my memories road…my grocery store… my town. … Sugar Hill Georgia.

These things will all be new for us in a few weeks ,and while I am riddled with excitement of what our new places will be to us THERE, I’m caught up in a meld of moments of what these places have been to me HERE … For instance –  I obeyed the Gospel of Christ here.. I kicked addiction and got sober here.. I fought for my marriage ,  and won it back  here.. I raised both of my kids here , and this has been their home as long as they can remember…In a very real sense , I too have grown up here!  It should be no surprise to me that in the  last few weeks  I have noticed MORE of what I have taken for granted for so long , and taken advantage of the time left here – and really  , really appreciated this place…

As I sit here in front of the screen thinking of how next to word my next sentence, a  thought enters my head that I just can’t ignore – I wonder how Jesus felt in his last days? I wonder , did he take in all  his surroundings? Although he had left heaven and ultimately emptied himself as deity to the form of a human – surely he appreciated his creation? Surely he took a good look around and saw that it was indeed  , GOOD (Genesis 1:31)…Or his relationships with those that he loved ? His mother? His brothers and sisters? John? …Peter? No question that Jesus dreaded the fate that awaited him –  we see the evidence of the sweat drops of blood as he prayed in the garden for it to pass from him(Luke 22:44) – so how much more did he soak up all the little moments leading up to that dreaded tree? Although he was God – he also was human.. He felt joy and happiness…  as well as pain and anguish and its only my humble opinion ,but he HAD to  have taken a really good look around and said to himself ” It’s gonna be hard to let this go”…

But I’m only presuming , and I wouldn’t dare to make a statement for him that he didn’t say  nor would I assume to know his thoughts on these things – they weren’t revealed in scripture… I suppose its me and my humanity desperately trying to relate to his… But after all – earth is NOT heaven , but man –

It sure does have its moments…

In the last month , I have subjected myself to situations that normally I would not have. Work situations that I normally would turn down due to personality conflicts or control issues… I have done this only for the purpose of  aiding me in the move of my family to another state for the great opportunity that awaits us there to serve our great God and to help others who may be seeking him. Enduring these moments with the knowledge of what waits has been nearly unbearable at times  , and admittedly burdening on my soul…

But today – I drove up my road , on the way to my store , in my town  and took in my surroundings .Maybe for the first time since I have lived here – I made the backdrop the subject , and not just the wallpaper of my mind while I drove from one place to the next …In doing so , it made the events of the past month a little easier to swallow and the taste that will be left  in my mouth of this place , a little sweeter than yesterday.

Maybe for the first time , Sugar Hill GA lived up to its name – It has provided me with a sweetness that has over come the bitterness of leaving , and a regained appetite for the journey to come..

Philippians 3:14  -“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

And press on , I will….   😉

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