Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

"The God I worship demonstrates all his work."
--Andrew Taylor Still, D.O., founder of Osteopathic Medicine

The above photo is the statue on the lawn of the Adair County Courthouse in Kirksville.

Now, a lot of folks (especially Truman State students and ATSU/KCOM students) that Kirksville is a rather godforsaken place, but I always remain a little tongue in cheek about that. Most of the time they are simply suffering from "NoMall syndrome" (no mall for 90 miles.)

The reality for me is if one simply walks, and observes, Kirksville and the surrounding environs is rich in demonstrations of God's work. Perhaps God is present in the grandeur of a midwestern sunset...

or in the delicate petals of the purple heath asters that one sees all around the roadsides, both in and out of town.

Even when people are bitterly complaining in the dead of winter (we are rather famous in Missouri's local 6 p.m. news broadcasts as most often being "The coldest place in the state,") there's a beauty in the starkness of the landscape...

Not to mention the snow can range from giant sticky masses to tiny flakes of pristine whiteness...granular and almost like a fine, powdery, white sand that covers everything.

But it's all in what one is looking for, whether one is going to see "The God who demonstrates his work."

How many times are we looking for the "big" thing--the holy magic trick that "proves" the existence of God? How many times do we miss the obvious?

Here's another radical proposal...

Do we ever totally miss the concept that our own lives are another of God's demonstrations?

Being hard on ourselves seems to be another pitfall of human nature. We come to God, thinking we are going to be the recipient of all these grand transformations. That in and of itself is not an unreasonable expectation. But then we start defining what these transformations will be, and heap self-expectations on ourselves. We start thinking that somehow, when we are transformed, we will suddenly become "good"--or at least this holy caricature of ourselves. "Us" minus our anger, our jealous moments, our resentments. "Us" who no longer feels socially awkward, feels in love with love, and who sees all the good in the world, minus our ability to judge. We will no longer see the icky things, feel the hurting things, or misinterpret the motives of others.

Then, when we see our own messy human nature kick in, we move straight backwards and think somehow it's "our" fault we have not become our self-assigned holy caricature. The magic trick we expected in ourselves didn't seem to happen, so we think we didn't transform.

Yet, the reality is that we actually DID transform. We're just too absorbed in our unrealistic self-expectations of that transformation, that the actual one came into our lives and we ignored it. While we were searching for the majestic holy version of ourselves, we missed the delicate heath aster that bloomed in ourselves, we missed the fine powdery pure snow that began to fall on us, we missed the movement in our clouds of doubt, or we were so focused on seeing heaven in ourselves that we missed the awesome fleeting moment of the perfect sunset in a tiny fragment of our old lives, and the pinkish pre-dawn of the sunrise of our new life in Christ.

To "be still and know that God is God" is to open ourselves up to those tiny details. If we simply sit still and let those details emerge and be seen, we will see them. Count on it.


Personally, from the KCOM point of view (can't speak for Truman Students), I don't think it is so much Kirksville or nomall syndrome as it is the first 2 years of med school. When you spend 2 years of your life confined to the library and Walmart, it's easy to see how people would not like Kirksville. It makes me jealous of the fellows who got to be a part of the community without the burden of studying 24/7!



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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