We don’t bowl or golf; we eat. We were heading to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants up in Cooper on the square. It dawned on me that a whole lot of the world doesn’t get to experience the sheer pleasure of eating great food in a small restaurant with a great atmosphere and relaxing climate. It’s like a guilty pleasure not covered in chocolate. The friendly staff going out of their way to make it a great experience is hard to find. You don’t mind spending your money when you’re treated special.
I was thinking about most of us country folks. Most of us have or may still be working hard. We have done so because we wanted a great life and found if we worked hard enough we might get to ring the bell. I know there’s a world out there beyond our borders who may not get to have the freedom and finances to fulfill their dreams. I know I didn’t do anything to deserve to grow up here instead of in one of those places where survival is a daily challenge.
Jesus said the poor we’d have with us always. He also commanded us to look out for our brothers. I figure that since He puts us on the spot on the map there must be something He had in mind for us. He often reminds us that to whom much is given, much is required. I think I’m secretly grateful that He hasn’t chosen to bless me with great material wealth and its accompanying responsibilities. Like He said, to whom much is given, much is required. We’ve often quoted the statistic that nationally half of the lottery winners end up in money trouble. The same ones would probably starve to death after falling into a giant vat of Hershey’s chocolate.
For me riches is driving down a country highway, eating at a good cafe that thanked me for coming, stopping and looking at a couple of historical markers, and maybe getting a glimpse of a deer or coyote along the way. Maybe the leaves are starting to turn, or the wildflowers are out in full bloom. Moneywise, we didn’t spend a lot, but memory wise we were blessed.
That’s kind of the way a number of us old East Texans like to spend a little time with our partner and best friend as we solve the world’s problems sharing the luxury of time that may ultimately elude us. Until the shadows fall or the mind goes blank, we’re off to enjoy once more a simple pleasure we’ve worked hard to pursue and eagerly look forward to stashing one more memory into life’s most enduring bank.
By Dr. Juan Harrison