I am still in the process of transitioning from life and ministry in Alaska to life and ministry in Missouri. I have learned a few lessons in the first week that are simple yet I hope I never forget them.
1. The joy of simple things. I love sweet corn and only had it once in the last 5 years since it does not grow in Alaska. Almost every night someone has brought us corn. I am so thankful and I am enjoying every bite. Having grown up in the Midwest I took something as simple as sweet corn for granted. I deeply appreciate it now.
2. The glory of summer. Summers in Alaska are warm (60 and 70 degrees) with lots of rain. It is wonderful to feel the sun and heat here most days. The 90’s with humidity are a little much but those days allow my boys to enjoy the local pools. They have spent more time in the water in the last 10 days than the last 5 years combined.
3. The pleasure of proximity. My family is now within a 30 minute drive (or less) from thousands of stores, activities and sites. In Alaska everything is so spread out. We drove 2 hours to Wal-mart and 4 hours for a big chain type restaurant like Olive Garden. Having those things close makes like much easier (and cheaper!).
4. The happiness of home. I grew up in Indiana and went to college in Missouri and while I enjoyed Alaska it feels good to be back home. I better understand and now appreciate some of the aspects of small town life in the Midwest. I could spend days talking about the familiarity of Missouri.
Here is what I know. If you spend all of your life in one area or with one group of people you might start taking things for granted. I know I did. It was not until I left for Alaska that I saw the joy of so many little things.
I wonder if it is possible to pause for a moment and be thankful for the common things in our life without moving away. To thank God for family that is nearby. To thank God for simple luxuries and pleasures like sweetcorn. To appreciate modern conveniences like Wal-mart. To express your gratitude for being a part of a community of people. Maybe today you could take a moment to pause and appreciate all you have in your life.