"I don't want any 'Downs'! just want Ups and Ups and Ups and Ups!" We all have days when we feel like Lucy van Pelt; we get tired by the ups and downs of life. The question of this last week was basically "what gets us down, and how do we get back up?" We have one thing going for us: we have access to the best helping hand there is when we need to be picked up, dusted off, and set back on the road forward.
I just had a great experience of one of the keys to recharging: good people. A couple of days ago a man walked into the side door of my store, and when I went to see what we could do for him, he said: "You may not recognize me; my name is John, but when I worked here there were two other Johns in the shop, so I became JC. " Yes, I did remember him; he had come to us as an apprentice over 25 years ago, and after a few years moved on, out of the area. I had gotten an email from him expressing sympathy at my John's homegoing, and going on to say that he appreciated what he had learned at our place: not just auto mechanics, but also about God and family. It was fun catching up; he is now a master mechanic at a Honda dealership in Indiana. He was in town visiting, and had stopped to see if I was still here, and to let me know that he still used things he had learned from John. Over the last several years, I've had several more of our move-aways stop by and still feel a conection to our place.
One thing I value about the places that God has put me is the people that I've had around here; that I've had the privilege to serve, and those who've taught me over the years. We gain strength and hope on both ends--what we invest in others, and what we receive in so many ways. Another one of those places has been our church; we've also had people come and grow and move on to other areas of life and ministry, many of whom still keep in touch. I can say with my friend JC that we learn about God and family from each other. We don't know all of the ripples that move out from the people God moves in and out of our lives!