Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Big Bertha

Yesterday I had a medical appointment - one of those these four (or five or six) tests could save your life. I thought I would go just in case I have a problem that would not be discovered during a routine exam. The advertising also said: “Ask your doctor ....” I did not, but just signed up and went. 12:05. Left the house a full hour before my appointment so I could get there early. Took my Nook just in case I had time to wait.

Well, there was no waiting at the church hall where the exams were being conducted. Mostly because I got behind a huge piece of equipment that was going down the very same road as I. How inconvenient. It had opportunity to turn so I could speed on my way, but it did not turn until I was almost at my destination.

As I drove slowly, very slowly, behind this piece of equipment I wondered whether moving it had the same ramifications here in Pennsylvania as one I saw in Ohio. In the southeastern corner of the state, there was a huge piece of mining equipment (called Big Bertha by community residents) that changed the lives of those living in one county when it moved across the street going into the county or out of it. If it moved in, property taxes went down. When the work of this huge piece of equipment was finished, it moved across the street impoverishing the losing county and helping the county tax base of the receiving county.

Would that happen locally as this piece of equipment moved from one township to another or would there be any discernible difference? I hope that our Borough would benefit because the Borough of Wellsboro sure could use a shot in the tax base. Our water system is lacking routine maintenance and because of the deferred maintenance, we are under a boil water advisory for the immediate future - December? January? Longer?

Apparently those who had lived in the borough for some time were called and told to boil. I was not one of them. Until I opened the paper two weeks ago, I lived in peaceful oblivion. I turned on the tap, water flowed in. Turned it off, water went away. That was then, this is now: boil all water for washing dishes, drinking, brushing teeth, cooking food. What a pain for this big city girl.

Living without reminds me that I don’t live without very much and except for not spending money on myself for this six months (and what I count as “myself” is broad) I get what I “need” and even what I “want.”

Sometimes I know that when Jesus said to leave everything and follow him then I might not be in ministry because I am not so good at doing without. Perhaps he meant give up the easy things, not the necessities, and follow me. Could he really have meant get water from a well or even boil town water? Would he accept me for giving up those things that are easy: extra chocolate, movies?

What have been Big Bertha’s in my life - computer access, up-to-date electronic access, natural gas heat a garage for my car and yes, clean water? Though I rarely name them, when any of them go away, I feel deprived.

Amazing what an hour of slow driving can do to one's mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment