Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 37 - Luverne to Abbeville, AL

Today was a 70 mile delightful yet hilly ride. We left this morning around 7:00 AM anticipating a more difficult ride, but most of us arrived in Abbeville by early afternoon. So, it became a bit of a shorter day than expected. It's been nice sitting in the motel room getting rest, which is always welcome after almost 6 weeks of constant riding (my odometer reads 2299!). Breaking the routine is also a nice change of pace. We have only 4 more days of riding and plans have been made in Brunswick to have a rather grand entry and celebration with a police escort on the causeway to St. Simon's Island and the coast.

I must say that here in southern Alabama is some of the most beautiful country and scenery I've seen. In its own way it rivals the west. It is more pleasant, in my opinion, to ride than even out west. Today was no exception with the unpredictable sites along the way. The first one was a church with another interesting name, the Lilly White Church of the Living God. What is even more ironic, I think, is that it's an Afro-American church! The second was the home or birthplace of Rosa Parks, the lady who refused to sit in the back of a city bus in the 50s and helped launch the civil rights movement. The third site was a hard -to-describe store, museum and home called Cooter's International in a one horse town called Spring Hill. A couple bought an old 50s style school building and turned it into their home, a small store and a museum of sorts - collections of old cars (mostly junkers) and an unbelievable collection of old, antique gas pumps and assorted signs and oil cans dated from the early days of the automobile. My brother and nephew are collectors of such things and there is great value in those collectibles. The husband said he has one pump in his collection (among 300) that is worth $22,000! Some of the old quart size oil cans can fetch as much as $500. And then there was the typical "one man's treasure is another man's junk" assortment of trinkets. It was interesting in it's own kind of way. You can see by some of the pictures below.

Devotional Thought:
I was encouraged to read a book that's been circulating among the riders on the trip called "Heaven is for Real". It's the story of a 4 year old boy's glimpse of heaven when his appendix burst and his life hung in the balance. It's also the story of his mom and dad's (an evangelical pastor) attempts to wrap their minds around their son's amazing description of what he says heaven is like. It makes interesting reading even though I am careful not to frame my theology around these kinds of experiences. One of the outcomes of starting the book was spending time on the bike today thinking about heaven and what the new heaven and earth must be like as Scripture describes it. Our ride today was certainly beautiful enough to cause my mind to imagine heaven based on what I was seeing. Then the old Don Wyrtzen song came to mind called " Finally Home". At the risk of being blocked by Facebook for abusive language again, here are the lyrics:

"When alarmed by the fury of the restless sea,
Towering waves before you roll,
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity,
Though fear and conflict seize your soul

Just think of stepping on shore, and finding it heaven
Of touching a hand, and finding it God's
Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial
Of waking up in Glory, and finding it "Home"

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,
Oh how lonely death can be,
At the end this long tunnel is a shinning light,
For death is swallowed-up in Victory, (Victory!)

Just think of stepping on shore, and finding it heaven
Of touching a hand, and finding it God's
Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial
Of waking up in Glory, and finding it "Home"
Finally Home! Don Wyrtzen

Gary displays an early "RV"?

I'm not sure what this is.
The red Texaco pump on the left is worth $22,000!

The camera does not do justice to the beauty of this pastural scene

The Lilly White Church of the Living God

1 comment:

  1. The more I try to imagine what heaven must be like, the more incomprehensible it seems to me. And I like to think of myself as an imaginative person. When I was a lot younger, the appeal of an afterlife was very strong. But as I've become older, I've discovered that the thing that I most treasure in life is knowing that I'm simply accepted by God, that he loves me, and that he's by my side at all times... a true refuge for me. Heaven is just icing on the cake!