Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 (NIV)
This week brought an overnight trip to our state capitol for review of a grant application my office submitted. It was a wasted trip. I knew it before I went. Last week, I learned that the program will not be funded, but just in case they scrounge up some money, we had to go to be reviewed and ranked. Our state is in a real mess, and the mood in the capitol was gloomy. The vultures circle overhead, but, these scavengers are not picking at the fat. They are eating the core of what makes our state special. In addition to cutting aid to our most vulnerable, children, families and the elderly, places and people dedicated to preserving Florida’s unique characters (not those who wear mouse ears) and sites (the real ones, unlike those manufactured by Hollywood) are suffering. After two days of rubbing elbows with people who either apologized for what they were about to do or whined because they were being impacted, I needed some peace and quiet. I chose to drive home on the back roads far away from the Interstate and a million McDonald’s billboards. Along 27, the colorful dogwoods, azaleas and wisteria delighted my eyes tired from being inside stuffy buildings. A sign pointed me towards St. Marks, and I wished I had time to visit. My blogging friend, Sophie introduced me to that place through her beautiful photographs. http://tacachale.blogspot.com/ I swung south on 19 and passed the Suwannee River Fair. Another blogging friend, FC, was probably inside with his family. http://www.pureflorida.blogspot.com/ I contemplated a raid on the place to rescue Chewie the pig, but thought better of it. I was driving a county car after all and no telling what my boss would do after paying to have it towed home while I stewed in jail waiting on bail. I breezed through his town of Otter Creek, and the roadside looked familiar. I think I saw those very same purple thistles posted on his blog recently. Farther south in Crystal River, I spotted a restaurant called Crackers and wondered if Danielle and her daughter might be enjoying an early dinner at her favorite restaurant. http://daniellebatog.com/ It was getting late, and I was going to miss my history class, so I raced along the parkway towards Tampa thinking of Laura and her funny comments about life, its joys and frustrations. http://vitaminsea.typepad.com/vitaminsea/ Finally, I ended up in Vicky’s backyard, http://amarkonmywall.wordpress.com/ grabbed a bag of takeout from one of her neighborhood restaurants and went to class. It was a five hour drive from the despair back home again. So, what does my brief sojourn amongst my blogging friends, all but one whom I have never met, have to do with the verses above? They all remind me of what is really important in life. Today’s troubles are simply temporary. There are a lot more things of greater importance than the money I did not get. Keeping my eyes on what’s eternal and not the temporary helps to keep the vultures at bay. At least from my heart.