Monday, September 26, 2016

Griffith...God's Greater Grace

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 270: Today, I am grateful God' grace is greater than any struggle...and lessons from Mayberry. 

I have the best memories of growing up with frequent visits to my grandparents home. Mama's family meant time with cousins. Lindgren grandparents meant time with Grandma and Grandpa. We were their constant shadows and companions. I don't remember much self entertainment... I remember being with them. I remember the treat of TV trays and Andy Griffith. 

We were never allowed to watch TV at a meal. Grandpa had TV trays for that very reason. I think it went back to his years as a widower before marrying Grandma Marge. He knew every show and would watch them again and again. Such wisdom was found in Mayberry. 

Our Sunday School class has done a series that was short - but used clips from old episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show".  Can you hear him whistling the theme song? (If you are under 35 - you may need to look for it on YouTube.) Yes, Mayberry was full of lessons that even in seasons of hardship and and a depressed economy, the things that really mattered were simple.  Loving your neighbor...from the switchboard busybody to the town drunk Otis... was how they lived. A family could be an Andy, an Opie and an Aunt Bea. Love always won over a gun... which is good because Barney had a little trouble with his. 

Friends and family were what made a man (or woman) rich. Living in a community that cared was what carried folks through the tough times. People... especially Andy... listened. I can still close my eyes and see him pause before responding to anyone that was wound up and ready for a fight. His questions guided them to answers that were better than violence or hatred. I miss Mayberry. I miss Grandpa and Grandma. I miss the message that community is as important as individual success. 

I am grateful that I grew up with a taste of Mayberry in rural America. We had no Wi-Fi or cellphones. We stayed connected by actually being together. Stopping in for tea or coffee. The trend toward "small groups" in churches is reviving the practice of intimacy and accountability among believers. We need each other. In our celebrations, in death, in success and in our struggles... together is better.   

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:15

Our little village has pockets of Mayberry. Our little neighborhood of 70's homes has been one of them. Not the fanciest homes... but rich in relationships.  Our kids actually played outside... and for those homes with younger children... they still do. One yard or two collects the children. The yard changes but the faces are the same. The children learn about extending grace to each other in times of disagreement...and about the doubling of the fun in corporate play. 

Lessons in grace...given and extended... are powerful life lessons.  Community changing life lessons. 

Today, I am grateful God' grace is greater than any struggle...and lessons from Mayberry. 

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