As I was heading eastward early this morning on the Avenue of the Saints, I was cursing myself for not having taken my camera with me while driving in the direction of an absolutely stunning sunrise. It actually reminded me of something one of the old masters would’ve painted as a backdrop of something out of the Renaissance Age. I dare say it was a bit creepy when noticing so few if any vehicles on those long stretches of highway.
I took the time late last night to check and see what churches in the North Iowa area would be holding the earliest of Services today. It surprised me to find almost all of them having start times between 9:00 am and 11:00 am. Alas, I did find one that began at 8:00 am, so that’s where I was headed off to this morning, but since it was about 45 minutes away, I had to get on the road before the sun came up, which is why I was nearly the lone spectator of that yell-of-a glorious sunrise.
It was a pleasant drive, and since I’d arrived about ten minutes early, I managed to find a comfortable seat in my favorite “middle”. While seated, I remembered how many years it had been since I last darkened its doors, along with having forgotten how beautiful the interior was with all the many colored glass windows that were filtering in this morning’s sunlight.
By the time their Service was over, you can bet I was thanking myself for my judgement call last night because of how well it went, and especially the beautiful old Christmas hymns that were being led by an adult choir stationed high and above in its rear gallery. The beauty of it all, almost brought tears to my eyes simply because of it being reminiscent of Christmas Services from years ago which I continue to remember as being fulfilling.
That choir must’ve spent weeks or even months in preparation for today, because they were actually singing some of those old hymns in near-perfect four part harmony. If I’d not been such a stranger in their midst, I would’ve afterwards climbed their choir loft steps and awarded them many well-deserved compliments. Another moving piece also being sung in four part, was even more difficultly performed as an a-cappella. Again, that daunting vocal piece would’ve only been given to those in possession of natural pitch and unwavering diligence.
As I was walking to my car, I considered this morning’s experience almost laughable when thinking about how a small town congregation was able to pull off something so magnificent, yet here in big “River City”, nearly all of our singers of religious music, are weak at best. I’m going to have a few good “sleep on it” nights to decide, because if I choose to become a member of their congregation, I’ll be making a commitment to a very long, and once-a-week drive to their house of worship.
On my way back to the City, I stopped at a convenience store to grab a small cup of coffee, and when I went to pay, the clerk insisted that it was on her nickel. I thanked her while saying, “I’ll be wishing something really good happens to you today because of your simplest of generosities.” Random acts of kindness always seem to be the most memorable.
When I returned to the City, I stopped back at my office, changed into my work clothes, and then headed out to perform my own RAOK by cleaning up something that could’ve easily been done by several surrounding neighbors, but as we all know, some spend more time and energy complaining about something, than if they’d take a moment or two and clean it up themselves. I’ve never understood such mentalities, and likely never will.
If the neighboring business owners of my office ever knew how much picking up of trash, extra shoveling and weed removal, they’d be personally embarrassed by their own failures. Even this past week, several people must’ve decided to use the top of the trash bin out near the front of my office to have chips and dip. Well, there were about five half empty dip containers along with all the many broken chips and bags strewn a-top and around that bin, and out there nearly the entire day until I went and grabbed some disposable gloves, sacked it all up, and disposed of it myself. People that do such things after hours, are akin to night-time varmints that creep in, crap, and then creep out. Oh well, such is the world in which we live.
The rest of my afternoon was spent tidying up, and then returning a few phone calls to my out-of-State relatives. I intended on making some “thank you” calls this morning, but my long drive to that church and back, ate up nearly my entire morning, but I’m not complaining because it was very much worth it. I would encourage all of you to seek out a small town or rural church, just so you may also be rewarded with a few golden kernels of religious comfort.
Even in this hour, I am very much wishing you all a Merry 2019 Christmas, along with an exceptionally healthy and very happy New Year ahead!
Tonight’s one-liner is: It’s best for the mind to be sometimes diverted so to return to better thinking.