Mr. Shad had a client come in to negotiate making a loan. As the rate for lending was discussed, the client informed Mr. Shad what the current New York Prime Rate was. Mr. Shad never missed a beat--telling the client
"This is not New York and you are not prime."
Drum roll and cymbal crash! Nothing else need be said.
Ruston is a FAR cry from New York. No offense to you New Yorkers, but for that I am thankful. One lesson I have learned from living in the Big City--you absolutely feel invisible quite a bit. Going about your day to day business it would be more unusual to see someone you know than to be negotiating the crowd of strangers you are always surrounded by. While there can be a certain freedom in being invisible, it also can leave one feeling quite detached and alone. There is no greater reminder of one's aloneness than walking among strangers.
The beauty of small town life is you are NEVER truly alone. I have not been a single place in almost a month that I was not recognized. I have hugged more necks in three weeks than I have in the past four years. As I recognize--I am also recognized.
God created us to live in community and with community comes relationships. A basic need of mankind is the recognition which comes with relationships. We all want someone to love us--be our friend--desire our presence. Truly-no man is an island.
It is life giving to know we are recognized and appreciated for who we are. One of the greatest things about the past four years has been really thinking about who I am. Such a happy surprise to finally determine-- I like me! Though I certainly have plenty of short comings and would never be accused of being at the top of the heap, I now understand and am very satisfied with being in the middle. With this recognition of not being "Prime", I have learned to embrace The Middle of the Pack. There is security among numbers and what greater safety than being smack dab in the middle of things?
I am thankful for God's gift of the friendships I have here in Ruston. I am thankful for recognition as I go about the day to day. I am thankful for being in the midst of small town life here in Ruston. But I also am thankful even in the midst of strangers--He recognizes me, He seeks me, and He considers me prime. What a gift and blessing--to always be thought of as prime.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.