Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

July 10, 2019

The sainted husband and I were on one of our many road trips when I thought about the days when road trips were quite the rarity.  Seems like now we are always going somewhere - however this wasn’t always the case! 
In his former life my husband worked in a job where he traveled all the time.  He had a company car and would climb into his vehicle first thing in the morning, go into the local office, get a list of the repair jobs he needed to accomplish that day and then off he would go on his appointed rounds.
These appointed rounds comprised half of the state of WV.  Interestingly enough when he first started this job he had the entire southern half of WV (and later was 'promoted' to the entire northern half of WV!)  This particular part of the state was full of challenges since this was an area that was just one mountain after another.  Up one mountain over 2 lane curvy roads, competing with large coal trucks that didn't understand curves or speed limits,  and down the other side of the mountain where in the valley would be a town of some sort - some very small and some small - that was pretty much it.  
All of these towns were laid out in valleys where you would have mountain sides on each side of town (all four sides…..), a row of businesses/houses whose back butted up against a mountain on one side of a road, a railroad track on the other side of the road and a creek beside the railroad track and then another mountain.  The businesses were slim pickens' as they usually consisted of a store of some type which carried a little bit of everything, a church, maybe a restaurant/diner, perhaps a lawyer and/or a doctor. The people who lived in these small WV towns were really nice people and liked this simple existence. 
The one building these towns  had in common was a bank and that is where the sainted husband would do his repair work on machinery that no longer exists because technology has quickly surpassed the old machines banks use to use!  No longer are microfilmers and the old style copiers something that is part of the responsibility of a bank employee.  
But not in those days - every bank had its microfilmer and someone had the job of standing by the microfilmer and scanning each check by hand in order for the bank to have records of all the checks that came through the bank. The microfilmers were hooked to copiers which would be used when a check needed a paper copy.  Sounds quite archaic doesn’t it as we think now about the teller who just runs the check through that little machine sitting on their desk and it is done!  But when these machines broke, the sainted husband was right there!
Now each of these small towns were pretty spread out and often it would take half a day to travel to one of the towns even though the mileage didn’t seem to be that far.  But when all your mileage is up a curvy side of a mountain behind a coal truck and down another curvy side of a mountain behind another coal truck time is much more the factor than mileage.  In fact one time a new supervisor took over and couldn’t figure out why the service men in southern WV were taking so long to do their jobs…  until he came down and did a ride along and quickly figured it out!
Even though practically the sainted husband could have stayed out overnight occasionally on these forays to these small towns literally isolated from much else which would have made the trips each day a little less driving, motels were rare and the few that were around had the appearance of No-Tell Motels or reminiscent of the Bates Motel (remember Psycho!) so spending the night out wasn’t often an option.  Occasionally he would find a nice one and would stay out in order to decrease some of the driving but that was pretty rare.
Needless to say his 1000 mile a month driving job resulted in our doing little driving fun places as a family on weekends.  Even if I was willing to drive, the thought for him of getting into a car and going somewhere just wasn’t that alluring!  “A bus driver’s holiday” he would call it when we suggested that we drove somewhere over the weekend…… 
God often calls us to do the very things for the church and for the mission of the church and for the work of Jesus Christ that we do all the time; that we do for our jobs.  How often does the church call on us to take on a task and our reaction is - “but I do that all week, can’t I do something else?”  
But think about it - if God gifted you with certain skills that you use for your employment - for the support of yourself and your family - wouldn’t it make sense to understand God wants you to use those same skills for the betterment of the church, for the work God has the church to do?  You do it for yourself and your family - now, God says,  do it for me….
Makes sense doesn’t it?