I didn’t adjust very well to being a country girl.
In theory, I had it down pat. Even if I didn’t LOOK like the girls in Luke Bryan’s music videos, I was still that country girl at heart.
You know, the one who likes to dance on a tailgate under a full moon or jump off muddy riverbanks into the water below?
But even then, it was an illusion.
I just WANTED to be that girl.
In actuality, dancing is great but I can do without the swarm of mosquitos doing the tango with my legs on a sweltering summer night. And just the word MUDDY….ewwww. Give me a heavily chlorinated pool with a book and a raft and I’m ready to go.
So, it shouldn’t have surprised me in the least when our move to the country was jolting.
This wasn’t my parents’ move to the country which consisted of building a house five miles past the city limits sign on Twin Bridges Rd. You can still get to the nearest Shipley’s in 6 minutes flat. No, this was 12 miles to the first little country store, another mile to the “new” Dollar General, and at least thirty minutes to the nearest Wal-Mart.
This was learning to fish various bugs out of your drink because you couldn’t afford to pour out your drink every time something flew into it. At best, you’d end up paying double on the grocery bill. At worst, you’d end up in the hospital on an IV drip from dehydration.
It was also learning to sleep to the sound of dogs barking and tree frogs croaking; and cleaning up excrements from both on a daily basis.
THIS was my new reality.
In time, I adjusted. To be honest, you adjust fairly quickly to things outside your comfort zone when you know you are smack dab in the midst of God’s will.
But my Achilles heel would be that well.
My upbringing had sidewalks, and fences, and water that just came when you turned it on. If you grew up in the city, you never thought about where water came from. You never thought about how it tasted, how it smelled. It was water. Water’s water. It’s all the same, right?
Ha! Well (no pun intended) I had learned by this point that not all water was the same. If a glass of water didn’t taste like City of Alexandria water, it tasted “funny”. (Years later, my husband would tell me that my “normal” water had a chlorine taste to it. It just tastes like water to me!)
Anyway, I had experience with different tasting water but I’d never lived where we had a well.
I really thought that went out with outhouses and wood-burning stoves.
Our particular well had a lot of iron and sulfur in it. It smelled like a beauty salon in the late 70’s- everyone getting a perm. It was disgusting to brush your teeth and you held your breath while you took a shower.
We had a filtration system put in but after a while, it kept messing up.
Five days after it would be serviced, all of the chlorine would dump into the water at once and we’d end with bleach spots on the laundry and skin that smelled like Clorox.
And then we would be back to the rotten egg-smelling water until it was serviced again.
After the third cycle of this, I realized that many Christians were the same way.
They go to church one Sunday (or a retreat or conference) and they immediately pour everything they have out. They are committed, dedicated, and on fire. Five days later, they are burnt out and right back where they started….a filthy, smelly mess.
We are not running a sprint.
We are running a marathon.
We need to slow down, breathe, and pace ourselves.
We need to be faithful every day, in the little things as well as the big.
And we must run toward the prize.
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27