It is awfully dark out there

“Don’t write a blog you will regret.” Those were the words of my lovely and loving wife. She saw my Facebook post of and about the flashing lights of the fire department brush truck from the middle of a dark, rainy, freshly paved, unlined Route 28 last night as the fire department was controlling traffic on the scene of an accident. Then she saw I deleted it because it was not going well. I told her I would likely blog about it today, hence her advice. In the Facebook post I wrote that whatever one thinks about the political views of “rednecks” in our local and all fire departments, our communities cannot do without them. It immediately went off the rails, which I honestly did not see coming. I figured some people would send encouraging words to these public/community servants and others who disagreed might just scroll by. (Some of y’all need to pray to God that He would give you some self control. Trust me, I pray for it and it helps sometimes). Volunteer fire departments really are the truest definition of community servants. I say “they”, because even though I am among them, I do not feel worthy to be compared to them. Most of them have been at this their whole lives. And in full disclosure, part of my motivation is to use the ambulance calls as a means to an end… that end being to glorify God as I at times pray aloud with (and always silently for) those who are going through a valley of life in the back of the ambulance. 99% of the time an ambulance comes to your home, it is not the best of days. In those valleys I can point people to the Light of the world, who overcomes the darkness.

I want to begin by addressing the term “public servants”. It drives me crazy when national politicians call themselves “public servants”. I hear it over and over. Hardly any of them are public servants. They are for the most part celebrities who got rich through public office, and now they are drunk on power. The men and women I serve with at the fire department are public servants. They get up in the middle of the night and they go out and serve the public. They serve anyone and everyone all the time. Let me share a recent occurrence. Colby Simpson got home very late the other evening after an unusually long work day took him north of Altoona right about quitting time. He brought dinner home for he and his wife and before he could sit down to eat it he heard Fort Ashby was not going to get their ambulance out (because they had sent people to help Short Gap get ours out!) Colby drove to Fort Ashby to allow them get the ambulance out to assist a person experiencing a breathing problem. That is just one recent example. I remember one ambulance call I was riding in the back and when I was asking the patient about himself he said he was a tree hugging liberal. I said that did not matter to me, that he needed help and we were there to help. On the ride as we continued talking, I told him I was a pastor. He said he would try not to fight with me about Christianity. I told him I would definitely not fight with him. I told him that it was up to God to convince him of his need for Jesus, not me. He said he liked that attitude. I also told him that nearly all of the ambulance crews that had come to help him over and over (as he had called 911 for help several times) were like me, conservative rednecks who were there to help whoever needed it. When we got to the hospital I prayed for him… but not out loud 😉

Last night I realized I need to quit using the term rednecks. The term rednecks now apparently carries a negative connotation of Confederate flags and racism. When I say redneck, I mean deer hunters who put out trail cameras, who carry pocket knives, open doors for ladies, and are always looking for a can of snuff. By my definition of redneck, I definitely serve in the fire department with a whole bunch of rednecks. However, that is apparently not what some others think it means, so I will consider it a lesson learned. No more using the term rednecks in affectionately describing those volunteers I love.

I know most people do not read long writings, so even though there is so much more I would like to write, I clumsily transition to the end by saying I have really distanced myself from social media in the last four months. I almost completely left it for a month, then two, only getting on to share moments that will come up as memories years down the road, announcing blog posts, and to live stream sermons on Facebook. I did not announce my fasting of it beforehand. I feel sorry for people who point out their addiction of it by announcing they are “taking a break” from social media only to show back up 24 hours later. I did not want to do that. Then in the past couple weeks I began to creep back. We rarely jump right in to things that are unhealthy for us. We usually creep in. I am thankful for the passive aggressive insinuations on my post last night. It was a reminder that I need to pray more for my own self control. I wish I could do a better job of being the light. In the moments I find myself unable to shine the light, the least I can do is not add to the darkness. It was also a reminder I need to pray more for our community. It was a reminder I need to pray more for our country. And it was a reminder that we all need to turn to the Light because it is awfully dark out there.






This entry was posted in Obstacles. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.