Our Stories: When life throws you a detour, enjoy the scenery

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By Pastor Robert Terrell

Well, my wife Toni and I had been talking about a staycation, but this is not exactly what we had in mind.  I’m not much of a shopper, so my gift to my family every year is an all-expense paid vacation in which we all get together, go somewhere and just do nothing but love on each other for a week.  Well, I usually get right back in the saddle when we get back home and go full speed ahead.

I am a bi-vocational pastor/timberman.  As of the second week of March, I had not had one day off since returning from our vacation and Toni and I had been praying for the right time to at least get a stay cation weekend. Well, that prayer did get answered and it is called shelter-in as a result of the coronavirus.  

With the panic run on toilet paper and pretty much all food being packaged, boxed and labeled with paper, the timber business was deemed an essential and critical part of the food chain. It was business as usual, but at the church, social distancing was no problem at all.  The church sanctuary looked like a baseball team. The pulpit looked like home plate with a batter, catcher and the umpire. The pews look like the outfield with someone in left field and centerfield and oh yea, one guy sleeping at right.  I did ask the Lord for a little time off, but this is not exactly what I had in mind.  

The song writer says that “Life is filled with swift transition!”  I have kept two balls in the air all year with the demands of the timber business, preaching midweek service and one or sometimes two services on Sunday. 

I have gone from having a wedding or a funeral and sometimes both every Saturday, hospital and home visitation to being asked not to come to the hospital and if you do come don’t stay too long. Or church services, wedding and yes even funeral being postponed because of social distancing.  Though I must admit I have enjoyed a little time off this is not at all what I had in mind.

On a high note, I did get to spend some quality time with my grandson, T.J., today.  Just the two of us having one-on-one time riding through the countryside. 

When life throws you a detour, enjoy the scenery. 

Robert Terrell is the pastor at Union Springs Baptist Church

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