1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Haven:  A harbor or port, a refuge; a shelter.
Dan Duff

I was  reading a spy novel last week and was taken by the ways spies are trained in the event they are captured.  They are trained to find a place, to seek a safe haven in their mind.  If they are captured, locked away, they are trained to put these things in the front of their mind especially if they are being tortured. They find a place where they have absolute control,  a place of happiness and peace of mind.  A place where only they can go.  A place so wonderful that they can push the captivity, the torture, the pain and the outside world completely out of their head.  So, I thought to myself.... if they can do this, why can't I?  Or, better yet, why couldn't we all.

We live in perilous times and with all the political hoopla, the immigration problem and the wars  we find ourselves in, why not seek a refuge for our minds and bodies.  We are told by doctors that stress brings on heart problems, ulcers, high blood pressure and a truck load of other illnesses that we can all surely live without.  After all, we live in the greatest country with the greatest food, the best to drink and the greatest leisure activities in the world.

I have found myself lately not looking for the best restaurant or the best golf course or the best movie, but something that will block out all the problems the world hurls at me on a daily basis.  I know that for the most part I cannot do anything about the immigration problem or who will be the next president or the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I do not call Washington and give them my opinion nor do they call me to ask for it, but as a person who loves this country and worries about the direction in which it is  going, I am dragged into these things.

I have found myself staring at the ceiling at three o'clock in the morning trying to figure out where this country stands in the world, how we got here and how could we possible get back to some kind of stability that would ease the minds of so many people. Then after reading how spies train their minds to act during captivity and torture, I realized that not just spies, but all of us need from time to time take our mind to some haven of refuge.

We do not normally have to worry about the capture and torture part, or do we?  After all aren't we all being asked to take part in these problems that the government finds itself in?   Aren't we all by the mere fact of our votes telling the government how we want the situations handled?  Then we find ourselves in situations as we are now a days and we feel we have been captured by our own government and are being tortured into decisions that we do not want to make or agree with.

Myself, I am thinking of a small town, nestled between the mountains and the river in West Virginia called Alderson. I let my mind go there in order to escape the captivity and torture placed on me by government, the news pundits and everyday life.  I walk through the woods, feeling the crunch of maple and oak leaves under my feet. The tall trees whisper with a fresh westerly wind.  I see the beautiful Greenbrier river just ahead and I hear the rippling water as it travels its course west toward the New River.  I can smell the dampness along its bank as I approach.  I have brought along a rod and reel, a tackle box full of lures and to be on the safe side I stopped at a place I know just up the road where an old hog pen once stood and dug me up some night crawlers.  The place I dug has long been  abandoned and I am sure the current owners would not begrudge me a few worms for fishing. After a time I  quit with the casting of the lures and put on a hook with a huge worm and place a float about three feet up the line and cast it into the small back water pool close to the bank. While I wait for the fish to nibble at the bait I talk to my God and ask Him for His divine intervention into the way things are going.   Soon I have several Blue-gill and a couple of small mouth bass.  The time I spend here on the banks of the river is directed by how much time I need to put the world and all its problems behind me into its proper position. 

You can choose your own haven and you can be alone or have as many people there as you wish. Your time spent there will vary and so will the outcome.  The only thing you must remember is you have to come back.  This is meant to be a refuge to be used as a temporary measure and you must come back and join the rest of us who are running around the planet raising families, doing a days work for a days pay and hoping against hope that these trips to these secret places take less time and less and less frequent.

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

Proverbs 27:12


For A. H. S. Ever Always - In Every Way For A. H. S.