Friday, October 6, 2017

Small Town Living

I'm on the move (again) and this time I've landed in a small borough outside of Pittsburgh with village charm straight out of a Gilmore Girls episode. Welcome to the real Stars Hollow.
This adorable small town has a vibrant and active community with a lively events calendar. There is an annual dog parade and light up night festivities at Christmas time. In the town's center square the gazebo is decorated at every season with flags at the fourth and foliage in the fall. Pumpkins began filling the park in October and I'm told the horse drawn carriage will arrive in December. Every day, at the top of every hour, the bells of the local church ring like clock work and for every fire emergency, the fire department's siren roars, alerting the local volunteers.
And my new place is right in the heart of this made for TV village in an1890's barn turned apartments features historic charm and unbeatable convenience. I exit my front door and immediately I am greeted by the the hustle and bustle of small town life. My new home sweet home is a staggering seventeen steps from the grocery store (the local Doose's for you GG fans) and a twenty second walk from the best cup of coffee in town. This new housing arrangement comes with caffeinated perks.
But small town village living also comes with its share of quirks. Namely, its noisy quirks. Before the crack of dawn I hear the market workers arrive to ready the grocery store shelves for an eight o'clock open. All day long customers stream in and out of the parking lot pushing squeaky wheeled shopping carts across the cracked concrete. In the evenings my lively neighbors take to their porches and engage in spirited conversation. During the day light hours I can hear them above me walking on creaky wooden floor boards.

The first few days and nights of this non-stop activity and noise sent my nerves into a tizzy. The disruption to my quiet life was downright disquieting. I couldn't find my rest in the constant commotion. I could slip into stillness or sleep.
As I lay in bed one night, stirred by a sudden sound outside my window, God, my faithful Comforter, swept into my room to still my anxious heart. In the dark of night the very Spirit of God descended like a dove, wrapping me in His arms of peace and tranquility. With a work of holy transformation, He rearranged the sounds of chaos outside my window and rewrote them into calm serenades to comfort my soul. 

When I rose from my bed the following morning the busy village scene was unchanged but to my ear every noise was transformed.
Now, in the chattering voices, rumbling cars and squeaky carts I hear the activity God. At the sound of pitter-patter upstairs I hear God at work high and above my life orchestrating every detail in accordance with His flawless design. At the sound of the garbage man I am reminded that Jesus is constantly cleansing and purifying me with the sweetness of His new life.
In my new home, surrounded by the lively hustle and bustle of small town life, God is using the noise to make sure I never forget that He is always faithfully going about His Holy activity to bring about His good, glorious and eternal will for my life.

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