Inspiration Overload

It’s the beginning of May and my first year of being a freshman in college comes to a close. I turned in all my papers, finished up all my exams and waved goodbye to my professors. Pack away the textbooks, push the notebooks under the bed, and relax to think about the next couple of months….summer.

You know, sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I am doing, and I guess…I usually don’t. (That includes right now.)

When you spend months talking with your friends, family and to God about this dream that you have, this vision of what you hope to be doing, where you could go, and how your near future will end up, and then when God says “okay here is your opportunity” – it usually isn’t really what you pictured. It sure wasn’t for me when it came to my dream for this summer.

For months Connor and I envisioned this summer a little differently. Imagined going to some place, some city far away from Abingdon, and living as “missionaries” (I hesitate to use that term). Just Christians, reaching out to a community and trying to live each day with a focus to spread the gospel. Yeah, definitely not there yet. Probably never will be. That’s beside the point.

Harlan certainly was not what I was imagining. But I am getting ahead of myself.

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You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive (Day 14)

“In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky…I read on a hillside gravestone, you will never leave Harlan alive. Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning and the sun goes down about three in the day. You fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you’re drinking and you spend your life just thinking of how to get away…No one ever knew there was coal in them mountains, until a man from the northeast arrived, waving hundred dollar bills he said I’ll pay ya for your minerals…But he never left Harlan alive.” – Paisley

Old Crow Medicine Show travels through good old Johnson City. Kenny Chesney comes and sees family in Knoxville. Then Brad Paisley gives a death sentence for Harlan.

Rewind to my fall semester at ETSU. I’m at the usual place for Tuesday nights – 7:08 Ministries college house. Devo is over, announcements are next. I hear a different announcement this time; info about a church of Christ in Kentucky that needs some help. They need a crew of able-bodied Christians to come visit them, encourage them, support them, and give aid to their aging preacher in all aspects of worship, each Sunday. And so the custom began; every Tuesday night a handful of college students would sign up to take a van to KY the next Sunday morning to help with the service and visit with the church members.

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