The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

October 6, 2012

Getting involved can be priceless

Keeping The Faith column

 

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Dec. 2, 2006. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

As a friend and I shared a childhood memory last week, I came to realize how we often settle for far less than life has to offer.

When I was growing up in a coal mining town in Fayette County, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train would snake its way through Pax once a year.

Someone in town had connections with the engineer, who would call and let officials at Pax Elementary School know when the train left Charleston and about what time it might be expected to pass through our fair city.

Teachers would herd a bunch of squealing, giggling kids down off the schoolhouse hill to a safe spot where we had a wide view of the brightly painted freight train. The slow uphill grade gave us lots of time to scream, wave and jump up and down as the rumbling vibrations beneath our feet heightened the whole experience.

If we got really lucky, the windows on the elephants’ car were open, and we caught a glimpse of trunks and tusks. It was just about more pure delight than a bunch of little country kids could stand.

It never occurred to me to be upset that I would probably never experience the circus itself. That train was on its way to a much bigger city where it would unload its cargo of elephants, tigers and other exotic animals for other people to see. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t likely to ever watch the agile acrobats in their shiny sequined costumes perform their death-defying aerial acts.

It didn’t matter to me that I wouldn’t see the circus because, by golly, I had seen the train.

I’ve started wondering how many other real things I’ve missed. How often have I settled for “watching the train go by” without ever enjoying the full experience some life moment had to offer?

TV, video games and other forms of passive entertainment have made us a generation of spectators.

Many churches have lost members to the comfort and conveniences of “armchair evangelism.” I’ll admit it’s much more comfortable to hang out in my robe and slippers, sipping coffee and listening to good music and sermons on the tube. The reality I miss, however, is the wonderful energy that comes only as believers gather, mix and mingle and worship together.

It’s much more tedious and time-consuming to become involved in volunteer efforts such as ringing bells for the Salvation Army, helping out at a food pantry or homeless shelter or baby-sitting so some friends can have some quality couple time.

However, the experiences that come with being actively involved are priceless. They may not be as thrilling as watching a circus train go by, but they leave us with a deep-seated satisfaction that nothing else can match.

Practicing our faith engages others in the reality of God’s love for them and enables us to help them develop their faith walk.

I really don’t want to face the Lord on Judgment Day and have Him show me a Divine replay of experiences I missed out on just because I was satisfied with watching the train go by.

1
Text Only
Life!
  • momrun Just do it W.Va.!

    “Missy’s here — we’re not going to win. Missy’s here…”
    Learning she was a perceived threat from two women whispering at the starting line behind her, women she had never met from among the hopping, stretching, Lycra-clad crowd, had one effect on Missy Burleson — a smile spreading as far as her feet were about to sprint her.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • living will 1 Decision day

    Pastor Roger Pauley and his wife Marcia were — like so many other baby boomers — charged with the responsibility of making decisions for their aging parents. For the pastor’s father, death was sudden.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • BAF approves community grants

    Beckley Area Foundation Board of Directors has approved $160,737 to fund forty-four projects throughout Raleigh County between April 2014 and March 2015.

    April 13, 2014

  • Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg unveils upcoming events

    Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg has a variety of events planned for the spring and summer.

    April 13, 2014

  • Singer named an Outstanding Young American

    President Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, Wayne Newton and General Chuck Yeager have one thing in common, they are all past recipients of the United States Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Americans award. For over 75 years, the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) has recognized the 10 young men and women – under the age of 40 – who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation’s emerging generation. The U.S. Jaycees is pleased to name West Virginia’s own Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to the 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans who will be honored at the 76th annual black-tie awards ceremony – to be held June 28, 2014, at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

    April 13, 2014

  • alderson americorps Alderson Main Street welcomes its new Americorps member

    The members and friends of Alderson Main Street welcomed their new Americorps member, Lynda Howe, at its recent monthly meeting.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tractor pull event coming to State Fairgrounds in May

    The West Virginia Grand Nationals N.T.P.A. Championship pulling event debuts at the State Fair Event Center in Lewisburg Memorial Day weekend.

    April 13, 2014

  • Djembes Drumming workshop to be held

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education is sponsoring a Djembes Drumming workshop on Tuesdays for six weeks beginning April 29.

    April 13, 2014

  • Learn basic sewing at NRCTC

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education will offer a basic sewing class in Lewisburg in May.

    April 13, 2014

  • floral painting GVT to showcase work of Genevieve Sowards Gillen

    Greenbrier Valley Theatre is exhibiting the art and photography of Genevieve Sowards Gillen during April. Her pieces are on display in the theatre foyer: three pastel, four acrylic, and a number of photographs on stretch canvas.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video