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Published on March 2, 2021

Chasing the Creator

After church, we took a Sunday drive to anywhere

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

If you grew up on an East Texas farm, the high point of the week was the Sunday drive to nowhere. Everyone loaded up in the car and set out for “God knows where.” You simply got in the car and meandered along, looking at cows feeding in pastures and doing whatever cows do. As a child of the late 40s, our car’s air conditioning came fully equipped…with handles to roll the windows down. Although, I do remember some of our cars also had wing windows that moved a lot of air, and bugs.

The top speed on these Sunday drives was usually around 30 miles per hour. Strange as this may seem to today’s fast lifestyle, you came home refreshed in ways too deep to describe. Looking out the car’s window as you slowly drove seemed somehow to comfort the soul, not unlike pastors who direct our eyes away from the hard things of everyday life to better things yet to come. That’s probably why scenes of quite pastureland are often referred to as “pastoral.” With that image in mind, you may want to rethink the next time you feel the urge to angrily declare someone a “Sunday driver!”

Memories of those long-ago drives is probably why taking car trips when my kids were young seemed like a good idea. We were like most young couples who considered ourselves lucky to have two dimes to rub together. It took a creative mind to pull off a “6-hour summer vacation in a car” with McDonald’s as the high point. Traveling with kids is not for the faint-hearted, and there should be a parental award, equivalent to a Purple Heart or a Navy Cross, or something equally meritorious upon arrival at home with everyone still in one piece.

Let me emphasize, an award received through the mail simply will not suffice. I want it hand-delivered and a full military salute with jet fly-bys! Really! How many times can a mother really hear, “He’s breathing on me” in a 6-hour road trip? Actually, 147! Now that my kids are grown with children of their own, I long to be back in the car with them and hearing, “He’s breathing on me” for the 148th time. Memories are like that; they get sweeter with age.

Have you ever considered that memories are a special gift? They’re at our beck and call to savor for the thousandth time, and yet each time, they’re just as sweet and fresh as they were the time before. If, like me, many years of Sunday drives have also passed, there have been sweet, as well as broken-hearted memories. Take time to savor them both. Time passes all too quickly for the sweet memories, but the broken-hearted ones, well, time doesn’t heal all wounds, contrary to popular belief. Often, time just gets in the way.

When our heart is broken, we may think God doesn’t know what that feels like. He does. He lived here and put his pants on one leg at a time. He also lived in a family with siblings who treated him badly. He had some good friends and lost a few. He worked with his hands, and people being people, probably cheated him too. He knew from experience that as we walked this road of life, our hearts would need to be healed. He said so in Isaiah, and again in Luke, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me…He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.” Healing hearts is a “hands-on” job, but the necessity is, you have to come close enough for Him to get His hands on it.

Do you remember the “Dear God” ad campaigns that were so popular a while back? I don’t know if it was just a marketing idea, or if someone actually touched the longing in the heart of God. Either way, the billboards touched many people to think God has a heart for them and wants them to drop by for a visit. Humans are funny. We love our kids, but think that ability is only limited to us, and not coming from our Creator. We want to be with our kids and long for them to want to be with us. Why then would the One who made us not long for the same thing?

He doesn’t ask for much, just take one day a week to remember Him. He actually handwrote it one time on tablets of stone. I’m not sure if it was cursive or printed. But I am sure of one thing: He thinks of us more than one day a week. It sounds to me like He sings lullabies over us. Can you believe that? The God of this universe stands over us and sings! Read it for yourself, “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17.

I don’t know what image is written on your heart with this scripture, but it sure sounds like a mother standing over a crib and lovingly singing to her child. Why then is it easier to imagine Him more as a Judge pounding a gavel, and pronouncing sentence, than a Creator softy singing over us? Maybe it’s because we don’t take one day a week to remember Him.

Mustard Greens Revisited
2 Bunches Mustard Greens, washed four times, remove tough stems and cut into large pieces.
4 Slices Bacon, cooked crisp.
1 Onion, chopped.
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 Cups Chicken Stock, unsalted
Salt & Pepper

Sauté the onions in the bacon drippings. Add the greens and sauté until limp. Add the chicken stock, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Cook until the greens are tender, about 60 minutes. Stir in the bacon pieces.
Serve the greens and the juice from the pot, called the “pot likker”, or “pot liquor”, over hot buttered cornbread.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)