I have a painting that hangs over my desk in my kitchen of Adams Grocery. Helen Mosley, a dear friend of my grandmother’s, painted it back in 1976 and gave it to Granny as a gift.
I have no idea if Adams Grocery existed on a county road outside Montgomery, Alabama or not. Maybe it did, or maybe it was just in Helen’s imagination. But the significance to me is Adams was my grandparents’ last name – is my mother’s maiden name – and is my son’s middle name. (Yes, I’m one of THOSE parents. Couldn’t just name him something normal like Adam. Had to throw an S on the end to confuse people…)
When I sit at my desk and look at the painting I’m taken back to an earlier, easier day where life wasn’t so much about running from one event to another as it was stopping by a little country store for a Co-Cola and a little conversation. I can see a couple of “old goats” (as my 74 year old mother calls old people) sitting on the front stoop, wiping sweat off their brows with the same old rag they would use to check the oil in your car with. Now and then a car pulls up – someone they know of course – and an easy, lazy conversation starting with “How’s your momma ‘nem?” would begin to spill into the hot summer afternoon. (Translation for all you above the Mason-Dixon line: “How is your mother and the rest of your family?”)
Mommas back then were more concerned with what casserole they were bringing to the church’s Wednesday night potluck dinner than providing the perfect combination of snacks for the t-ball team’s practice (don’t get me started on my disdain for snack mom). They could spend more face to face time with a friend because they weren’t concerned at all about what all their FaceBook friends were all up to.
And as I stare at Adams Grocery I wonder – when did the wheels fall off the wagon? When did this country go from God-fearing, God-worshipping to a sorry state of narcissism?
Honestly, today, it really doesn’t matter. What’s in the past is in the past. But we believers can change future generations.
“O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth, I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands…” (Psalm 78:1-8)
If you are a follower of Christ, go and tell someone of the next generation what He has done in your life. Educate. Demonstrate. Help raise up a new generation of Christian believers and leaders who, like their great-great grandparents, put their trust in God, remember His deeds and keep His commands.
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