There are many scriptures, principles and truths in the Bible that are very clear to understand.
A favorite position I often share is that when we clearly know what to do, then the only thing left to do is act upon that truth.
The Appalachian Mountains are in a unique geographic area that has had to overcome many challenges and obstacles throughout her existence. The Indians were the very first to call our home, home. Out of sight, out of mind is an easy practice to adjust into as an individual way of life if we do not safeguard against the practice.
Our history is important. It includes many people groups, many isolated areas, and a forgotten fact or tradition does not release our responsibility to remind the current population of a price paid for our current experience.
Many in our region have forgotten our kinship with the commonwealth of Virginia prior to our own statehood. The Appalachian Mountains have long been a land of plenty, great beauty and self sufficient resources. This region has also faced many challenges because of the ability of these mountains and her natural tendency to keep things out and people away.
Most folks are not signing up to move to this part of Kentucky, East Tennessee or western Virginia without a connection to the region, although I believe folks should and I invite them (you) to do so. This is an awesome place to establish a home and family. This is a great place to open a business, apply your interest and passion. The mountains are a super place to bring along and share your academic successes too.
I wrote in the first paragraph we have “had to overcome many challenges and obstacles.” Some of the issues we have faced have been the mountains themselves. The challenge of transportation is a great example. To get somewhere, actually to get anywhere, you will be required to drive down a mountain, up a mountain, around a mountain, alongside a mountain and yes, even through a mountain.
We must maneuver rivers, streams, creeks, railroad tracks, bridges and I must write highway potholes. Other obstacles and challenges include a large array of issues, including social, political, educational and specific regional situations. The last challenge facing the Appalachians I would mention includes people.
Sometimes we “mountain people’ make a decision just to prove we can, even when it is the wrong decision. We like our independence and I do too. I like the courage to not accept whatever comes down the road. Saying no just because you don’t like the messenger I believe is wrong and hurts us. Taking the other side of an issue just because you dislike or “have never agreed” with a person or “that” group of folks before can also be a determent to our region, our area and especially our people.
Progress doesn’t always have to mean change, but in my definition it does mean to make things better. You don’t have to build new things, but we must acknowledge keeping up an old structure requires regular repairs, and the practice of a continuous eye on things that we know might become a problem.
Setting our financial resources aside is as important as creating a list of priorities and working toward each listing without surrendering everything for one thing.
Many choices, many options, many challenges.
The way to secure our future successes is to be committed to honoring those who labored before. The way to build up our communities and region is to be ready today to help our neighbors now in the spirit of cooperation that will land that future progress we want that will benefit all of us.
Jesus showed himself to be friendly and while he didn’t make friends of everyone, he never stopped looking for the opportunity to help even his enemies.
Contact Tim H. Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @THMills.