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Reflections

11/30/2008 04:00PM, Published by Super Admin, Categories: In Print




If I had just one day to spend in your town, what should I do?” This has become one of my favorites questions. I ask it in restaurants and hotels. It’s fun in supermarkets too. Gas stations. Parties. Wherever locals gather, there my question goes. I asked it of a table server in Loomis. She couldn’t think of anything to do in her town. I asked it in my own town, which is filled with fun things to do. “Go to the movies,” I was told.

A few years ago I attended the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee. Each October 10,000 people spend a weekend in this small town listening to professional storytellers. But when I posed "the question" to a clerk at the grocery store there, she was stumped. (Pause. Frown.) “I’d go to a different town.”

Last spring while in Epcot Center at Walt Disney World, a melting pot and perfect place for my question,  I saw a friendly-looking Frenchman in front of the replica of the Pont Neuf bridge. I asked, “If I was in Paris for one day, what should I do?” He lost his friendly look. What kind of idiot goes to Paris and only spends one day? (He didn’t say this, but I know he thought it.) What he said was, “How can you go to Paris and only spend one day? That’s impossible.” When I agreed it was truly impossible, he relented too. He said, “I’d go to the Champs Elysees.” I was making progress. So I extended the time frame, “What if I actually had two days?” He thought and replied, “I’d do the Champs Elysees again!” Thank you, Mister Creativity.

All right, now, bring it home. What if I asked my question of you? If I had one day in our town, what should I do? Do you know? Do you have an answer? Very often I hear from teenage kids that there is nothing to do in their home city. Their town is boring. Their town might not be the dark edge of the universe, but you can see it from there. Somehow we’re not helping our kids to be creative, or think creatively. Now, it might be too late to inspire the teenagers. But what could be done to help our younger children to think creatively about their hometown? I’d start by asking them my question. And keep on asking it until they grow up into creative, visionary human beings who love living on this fascinating planet. This question also opens the door for family experiences, getting out together and experiencing what is taken for granted in our backyards.

Brad Franklin is the founding pastor at  Lakeside Church in Folsom. To contact him visit lakesidechurch.com, or check out his blog at bradsblog.typepad.com.

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