Fairgoers wanna iguana! SSCC moving forward with plans for Adams County campus Mary Wallingford Leslie V Lawrence Jr Fair hosts Cheerleading Competition Peebles FFA installs 2017-18 Officers Seniors Citizens and Armed Forces Day at the fair Cheers! It’s mocktail time! North Adams Beta Club attends National Convention at Disney ‘You won’t believe the chaos it rains around you’ McCarty’s receive 4-H Alumni award McKayla Raines crowned 2017 Junior Fair Queen Eastern knocks off Peebles 10-5 to capture 14 U baseball tourney Just listen for the answer Time to teach a little History Fair hosts Little Miss and Mister, Toddler shows Jason E Palmer Dorothy Stephenson Shane G Varney The weekend I joined the Army David Stutz Patty Davis Battle results in new chief at the Division of Wildlife Join in with ‘Adams County Rocks’ After 500-mile journey, pigeon ‘drops’ in for a visit Nine-run third inning leads Peebles to upset win in SHYL 12U baseball tournament finals Willie L White David A Presley Connie Greene Carolyn Belczyk retiring from OSU Extension Young’s reign as Fair Queen ends, new journey begins Robert L Boone Esther C Malone Independence Day parade puts patriotism on display Being an addict’s mom: a sad and scary place to be White House newest addition to People’s Defender mailing list Young leaving Manchester to become Ripley Principal Leadoff homer holds up, Manchester takes 10U softball tourney 1-0 over North Adams North Adams tops Manchester in 12U semis Monday Night League concludes with SHAC showdown How we see ourselves In the good ole’ summertime Ronnie L Roush Elizabeth A Gifford Tom White Ivan H Copas Kathleen Lewis Paul Minton Jessica A Edmisten Workhouse helps free up jail space Penguin ‘chills’ with kids in library visit ‘Heroin has taken me to my darkest places’ The beauty of the giant combine West Union gets past North Adams 5-2 in 10U baseball tourney play Eastern Brown hosts annual Girls Soccer Shootout “It’s been a real community effort” Summer ball winds down for local squads Submit your Knothole team photos! Gokey, Morgan, Young to perform at 2017 Festival of the Bells Just looking around the room When in the course of human events When your dreams seem out of reach Ricky A Smith Ricky A Smith Dean McClellan Ruby O Shell Peggy R Atkinson Caroline E Fulton Marcia R Baldwin Juanita N Lewis Mary K Hilterbran Jack D Reed ‘I had no gumption except to get high’ Long-lost siblings meet for the first time after nearly six decades apart Freedom Festival to honor the American Flag ‘Music and Memory’ at Adams County Manor renews lives lost to dementia Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy takes gold at 2017 Ohio Police and Fire Games Toole awarded Winchester Alumni Scholarship Lady Devils host Summer Varsity Shootout In 14U, Peebles finishes regular season with blowout win Der professionelle Basketball-Traum Local pair attend Wabash College Wrestling Camp Shootouts in the summer time Eight dollars and three keys When life gets messy Hot summer days were no sweat Janice McGlothin Jeannine O Evans Gerald Grooms Marvin Setty Richard G Waldron Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post

If you’re looking for an easy road

This is the last of a three part series on Willard and Helen. Hopefully you read the first two, if not I’ll bring you up to date. Willard was referred to hospice at age 76 due to end-stage complications from a catastrophic stroke. Willard is now unresponsive and requires the total care of his wife, Helen.

Willard is a fanatical Christian and a perennial prankster, which makes him “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22) and Willard is not “ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 1:16). He plastered Christian bumper stickers all over his car because, like the Apostle Paul, he believes that the gospel, “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”

Helen is a little subtler, but she is still witty with a wonderful sense of humor, but Helen can become very serious and direct in a heart beat. One day we were talking about the challenges of life, the developmental tasks of each successive stage, and I suggested, “But sometimes I feel like I need a breakthrough.”

I explained that there are things about myself that I wished I could change, things I would like to be freed from. Instead of being impressed with my desire to be a better person Helen replied, “Loren, let me tell you something. If you’re looking for an easy road you aren’t going to find one. There isn’t one.”

Bull’s eye! Helen saw beneath my surface, that what I was really wanting was escape from responsibilities and the challenges of life. I was looking for an easy road, an “easy button.” Chuck Swindoll, the popular Christian pastor and author, said it this way, “I want about three dollars worth of God, not enough to make me uncomfortable, not enough to explode my soul. I think I’ll take about three dollars worth please.”

I’m reminded of a time when I was in graduate school. I sat overwhelmed at my desk in my basement. As I surveyed my assignments I prayed, “God help me. This is just too much to do. It’s too hard.” I wallowed in self-pity waiting for God’s rescue, for an escape, an exemption. I didn’t particularly appreciate or anticipate his reply, “The longer you sit there feeling sorry for yourself the farther behind you will get. The only way to get it done is to do it. There are no short cuts.” God gave me help and strength, and maybe even a kick in the seat of the pants, but not an exemption. So I buckled down and got to work.

M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book, “The Road Less Traveled” states, “Life is difficult, once we truly understand and accept this truth we transcend it,it no longer matters. Most moan more or less incessantly, noisily, subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy. Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? The only way to solve our problems is by solving them.” Scott Peck also suggested that when we attempt to escape reality and responsibilities, that we escape freedom.

So, the bad news is, “life is difficult”. But the good news (Gospel) is, we don’t have to do it on our own. Jesus told his disciples, “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another helper, that He may abide with you forever.” (John 14:15-16).

I think I’ll leave you to ponder a verse from a poem by D.H. Lawrence that was referred to in the movie, “G.I. Jane”: “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.”

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org or by phone at 740-356-2525.

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Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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