It was 1968 and I was in the 4th grade. My parents had just moved the family to the Oak Park community of Sacramento from the State of Bakersfield. (Yes, technically, Bakersfield lies geographically within California but…well, those that are familiar with “B-town” know what I mean.)
Even for a young kid that didn’t pay too much attention to the societal goings-on, it was a turbulent time. The war in Southeast Asia, the assignations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, social unrest across the country and, yes, even in my new Oak Park world.
An avid model airplane and ship builder, I would take the walk from 33rd Street and 6th Avenue through Oak (aka, McClatchy) Park to purchase what my accumulated 25 cents per week allowance could afford. Oblivious to the danger (real or imagined), I walked the most direct path from Point A (home) to Point B (Ben Franklin variety store).
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
This practice served me well. Home to Ben Franklin. Home to school (Brett Harte Elementary), which involved a pedestrian crossing above Highway 99.
All this changed when our class went on a field trip to site of the discovery of gold in California in Coloma. Keep in-mind, although I recently crossed from one state to another, I felt confident enough to go off the established path (literally) and take what I thought was a short-cut from Point A to Point B.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths,
and he will keep your ways straight.
I (and three of my friends) quickly became lost. After what seemed like an eternity of being lost and hearing the noises of the foothill wildlife, 4th-grader fears and tears showed-up. We were lost and I was afraid…no, I was scared!
This morning, I read an interesting article on today’s election. According to the writer, there’s a 96.4% chance of the Democratic Party gaining control of the House of Representatives. And, there’s an 89.1% chance of the Republican Party maintaining control of the Senate.
It’s our right and responsibility to vote. As my daughter reminded me this morning, “Thank you and my grandparents for the ability” to vote! Still, voting and the results notwithstanding, we stand a 100% of becoming (remaining?) lost. If we don’t ask the right questions, the answers that are put forward are of no value.
Yes or no? Blue or red? Progressive or conservative?
What’s the question?
A p-k (preacher’s kid), Mark is the eighth of nine children born to Reuben and Henrietta Meeks, prolific planters of nearly 30 churches throughout the Central Valley of California. After four decades of teaching, discipling, and ministering, including to the hospitalized and imprisoned, Mark responded to God’s call to pastoral ministry. In addition to degrees in civil engineering and public administration, Mark received his Masters in Theology from Fuller Seminary.