DCC News


Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church


July 5, 2007



Up Ahead

The cockroach was the size of a Buick.

At least, that is how Laura would have described it as it sat on my collar there in the observation car of the train. We were traveling in Sri Lanka and had train tickets from Colombo , Sri Lanka to the interior of the island to the city of Kandy (known far and wide as the home of the “ Temple of the Tooth”…the tooth of Buddha.) But at the moment, Laura’s attention was riveted on that bug. I then swatted it to the floor, wrestled it into submission like the Crocodile Hunter…and amidst the cheers of the other passengers, I scooped it up to deposit outside. I gave smelling salts to Laura and we settled in for a trip up into the mountains of the interior of the island.

The Observation Car was the last car on the train of say, 12 railroad cars. It had a large observation widow in the back (hence the name, Observation Car…you can’t slip one past those Sri Lankans). So, we rode up the mountains always looking backwards. We would wind in and out of valleys with the drop-off over the side something to behold. You could see just where we had been. There was no looking forward.

Actually, I saw only a portion of the mountains and valleys because the young married Sri Lankan couple across the aisle kept up a running conversation that would put any politician to shame. They were nice kids (probably about 25 years old) and had been married exactly one year that day. She was drop dead gorgeous and he looked like he should star in the next Bruce Willis action movie. So, I saw more of her eyes and his jaw line than I did of the mountain passes, but the guy was an interesting conversationalist and I sat there and ate roasted, spiced cashews feeling very old and wise in the presence of this intriguing couple. Occasionally I glanced out the window to see the lush vegetation and tea estates as we climbed into the mountains.

What has this to do with July? Actually, very little. For some reason I got to thinking of that mountain trip on the backwards-facing Observation Railcar just the other day when I was stopped by a train near home in Duvall, Ohio a bit south of 270. As the freight train zipped by, I just sat there in my car and watched the final car go down the tracks and out of sight. I remembered the Sri Lankan journey and then waxed nostalgic for my own railroading days during college summers. But the guy in the pickup behind me was in no such mood as he anxiously honked and reminded me that I needed to move on, as there was a line of cars behind me.



From my vantage point of early July, I feel like I am in a similar backwards-facing Observation Car…when it comes to seeing where Dublin Community Church has been. Looking back, it has been a fascinating ride up through the mountains and valleys of this past year.

For me, the biggest revelation was the breadth of activities that involve the members of this church and even more so the eagerness for doing more. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me, you are a rather over-achieving group of people in your personal lives and businesses, but I have been especially impressed by your interest in doing more Bible Study; more discussion about Mission; more attempts at Fellowship activities. The key in all this is to enhance one’s daily life and not just add more “stuff”; more “hassle.”

From my Observation Car vantage point, that is what I see we have done over the past year. I thought it especially fine to have the Youth Group Work Trip people talk to us last Sunday in worship. Think about all the activities they involved themselves in to raise money for that trip. Looking back, I can see many meetings to discuss fund raising, innovative ways to make money for the trip and yet still carry a full load of Youth Activities during the year. The New Perspectives Youth Group is not just a fund raising group for a summer work trip. New Perspectives is primarily a way for our youth to relate to one another, offer service to others and grow in a relevant Christian faith. The summer work trip is a natural outgrowth of it all. Look back on that. It should make for a feeling of satisfaction for having given work-trippers and work un-trippers the opportunities to “get out of their comfort zone.”

So, was the trip up the mountains in the train, only good for observing what we had passed? No, not at all. During the picturesque journey up the mountainside, my daughter Laura wandered around the Observation Car (since I was still talking to the young married couple) and snapped some pictures of the front of the train as it rounded a curve. It showed us where we were headed. It showed us who was running the train. It gave us a great picture of the entire train and where we fit in to the overall scene.

I’ve probably stretched this train-going-up-the-mountain metaphor as far as I can. It’s just that here in early July I find myself looking back over where we have been; just before I get a bit of a break for myself. I am already starting to think about what lies ahead up around the next curve. I know it will be interesting. I know it will be worth the journey and worth the ticket which we have bought.

I also trust that it will involve much smaller cockroaches.


Peace,   Bob