The boy “Growing Up On Dump Ground Road” lived in a Mayberry-like world. Most of you will recall the fictional town in North Carolina from “The Andy Griffith Show.” It had a slow paced, simple life, small town atmosphere, much like Rockdale, Texas. In both instances, the town folk all knew each other well. Neighbors watched out for each other. Family and friends were always there to help someone in a time of need. Homes were left unlocked and keys left in the cars.
The only time the doors were locked on the green shotgun house on the road to the landfill was at bedtime. Since his dad worked at nights and his older brother was away at college, the DGR kid was left at home with his mother and three sisters. At twelve years old, he was the man of the house. This was a responsibility that he took seriously. Nightly at bedtime, he placed the magazine to his father’s .22-caliber rifle on the headboard of his bed, while the gun remained in its permanent place behind his bedroom door. He had to be ready to protect his family, even in a town like Mayberry.
As you may recall, Deputy Barney Fife was not suppose to carry a loaded pistol on the television show. He kept his bullets in his shirt pocket, in case he needed them. On the rare occasion that he had to load the weapon, his hands would shake severely. More than once, he accidently discharged his gun while it was still in the holster. The DGR kid never had to fire the rifle, but he was prepared to defend his family if needed.
The recent mass shootings in Southaven, Mississippi, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio remind us that we no longer live in a Mayberry-like world. These events leave us tempted to stay at home behind locked doors to avoid the evils of this world. However, as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We need to exercise good judgment, but we also need to enjoy the life that God has given to us. We are not to be afraid or ashamed to share the testimony of God’s power and love with a world that desperately needs to hear about it and experience it for themselves. There is a city, even more peaceful than Mayberry, awaiting those who trust in Jesus!
Serving in love,