rustypants speaks

youth pastor. husband. idiot. why should you care? it's beyond me.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

it's the drive that drives me

i love driving.

i must've gotten it from my dad. my mom? more than 15 minutes in the car and she's had enough. no joke.

the drive from cincinnati to maryland is 550 miles. we love taking this 9 hour trek for various reasons, from together time to driving back roads half of the way and seeing the beautiful mountains in west virginia and western maryland to being able to take our time and mosey or make stops.

and another reason is the strange sites along the way.

Ohio's Smallest Church is one of those sites and it's an odd place. it's situated across the street from a rest area in Athens County, Ohio in the middle of a field off Ohio Rt 32. until just 6-7 months ago there was no driveway or parking lot. we first noticed it a couple years ago and first stopped in last year.

clicking on the picture will give you a better idea of the scale of the place. the front door is maybe 6.5' high, so the whole building itself can't be much higher. there are stained glass windows on the sides, a steeple with a real bell inside, 4 pews on the inside, an altar and a place to put your prayer requests.

i was hesitant to go into this church because of the "spine-tingling" factor. have you ever had that? someplace has something "special" in the feeling of it and you're certain that (despite the understanding that God is everywhere) "God is here" - i try to avoid that (and as a youth minister i try to avoid that for my teens) because i don't want to box God up. at any rate, the spine-tingling was present and if nothing else, it's quite a peaceful place. you figure: driving for hours, the noise of the road, of the music you're playing, of the thoughts you're thinking, and suddenly: silence. peace. quiet. breathe. sit. pray.

breathe. sit. pray.

i could use a reminder about that every now and then.

we were further rewarded as we continued home by a spectacular sunset viewed from Keim's Amish Market in Seaman, Ohio. the sky looked like a fireball was rolling across it, ready to burn through and scorch the land. pretty cool.

driving, discovering new places, revisiting old - these are the things that make life good.

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