Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek Discover Ohio’s Ancient Cultures during Archaeology Day at Serpent Mound Summer Reading Program ends as new school year approaches Lady Hounds preparing for 2017 volleyball campaign, looking for more improvement A servant’s hands Oh my, nothing better than a sweet tooth Rec Park hosts All-Star Sunday A Saturday night peek at a gridiron future McDowell, McCarty awarded Farm Bureau Scholarships Adams County Medical Foundation awards Dr. Bruce Ashley Legacy Scholarships Your kid on heroin Jerry W Olinger Douglas R Burchett Wayne Cowles Shirley Collins Jack L Yates Wayne Grooms Sr Adams County Building and Loan merging with Southern Hills Community Bank Ahead of Sales Tax Holiday, Attorney General DeWine offers tips for consumers Delores L Cook Harold L Smith Pell, Seas have high hopes for new SSCC campus ‘We prayed and believed it was going to happen’ 4-H Scholarships awarded during Fair Week Showmanship Sweepstakes concludes Junior Fair Competitions Junior Fair Crops are a Premium Show Southern Ohio’s only blackberry farmer wants to make berry pickin’ fun again Challenges ahead for new MLSD Superintendent SAY Soccer celebrating 50 years North Adams hosts Youth Football Mini-Camp Lady Dragons host Soccer Shootout 38 years later, Indians football returns It’s time Ten years and twenty goats later When nobody is watching When a blackberry wasn’t just a cell phone, but delicious Heroin user’s mom says addiction is a disease, not a choice Mary A Wallingford Rickey L Vincent Pauline Ertel William Bryant ACOVSD announces 2017-18 policy for free and reduced lunches What we are made of When summer really arrived Horse project 4-H members head to Ohio State Fair Defender hosts annual Cornhole Tournament George’s Brave Shave’ benefits other Year of planning, work pays off for 2017 fair Local teen opens new business Why can’t you stop? Camp first step in preparation for 2018 Greyhounds on the gridiron Young awarded SEDAB Scholarship Fair hosts Hall of Fame broadcaster Peebles goes back-to-back at the Barnyard The sport of goats

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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