Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Visit to Town

Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever”

This past weekend a friend and I visited a quaint little town in which I used to live about 20 years ago. There is a big red mill complete with water wheel, a beautiful old bridge (reminiscent of the bridge in the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”), and a breathtaking waterfall. Main Street always had interesting shops to explore, and there were restaurants, a museum, park benches… just a real old-fashioned town.

I was so looking forward to a juicy, lingering visit at the old little bookstore on Main Street. The years my (then) elementary school aged daughter and I lived there we spent countless hours pouring over the wide array of books there, from children's to mysteries to historical to spiritual and self-help, tons of magazines -- everything under the sun. It was wonderful - so much variety in such a small store. It was just a little brick-front "shoppe", but it was filled with magic and wonder. As I neared this bit of sanctuary with growing anticipation, I realized (like a cold slap in the face) that it has been replaced by a modern, stainless-steel decorated electronics store - UGH!

To add insult to injury, I went up to our other old "haunt", the delicious and decadent town bakery, an original old-fashioned bakery with a counter a mile long just jam-packed with everything you could ever want! Crullers, bear claws, warm rolls, every chocolate-drenched cream-filled irresistible delight imaginable. Early mornings the heady scent of baking bread would dance through the town, over the river and into our open windows. I was fully prepared to toss all personal trainer discipline aside and have something sinfully WONderful. My heart leapt with joy as I saw the old sign still hanging... and then I entered. UGH2!

The entire front end of the bakery was now a Starbucks wanna-be lounge area with chairs and couches – albeit quite lovely, I must admit. There was a small counter about 1/4th of the original, and some upscale loaves of bread behind the counter, and a selection of coffee or tea in big black plastic containers. The now barely-there glass counter housed some muffins, a few delicacies, but nothing that called out my name and beckoned me onward. Okay, if it was the first time I was there I would say it was quaint and lovely. But again, another blow to the heart and memories of being there with my daughter, our noses both pressed up against the glass, laughing and trying to figure out what we would purchase to take home and linger over with our respective coffee and cocoa on a crisp fall Saturday morning.

Sigh… the world seems to spin colder and harder each day, and so many of the beloved, comforting places spin right off the planet as the pace gets madder and more furious. It can be overwhelming and quite depressing. I am so thankful that God never changes, and that when I seek Him out, He is always there, never “updated” or “revamped” or moved due to dwindling sales or the advent of some modern fad or technology. My weary and disappointed heart can always, always find its resting place in Him.