By A. Ray Lee
Recently my friend Dan restored a small cabin for me on Lee Acres which had once served as a small dormitory at the Hartselle Tabernacle. I came in possession of the old building about twenty years ago when the campgrounds and buildings were renovated. After the carpenter had completed his work at the tabernacle he began building our retirement home. He had stored his tools and supplies in the old cabin and moved it out to our place to use it for the same purpose. When he had completed our house he moved on to another project but left the cabin with us.
For twenty years it sat underneath a cedar tree and continued the deterioration that had begun years ago. We used it as a storage unit. The things we had put in it were now mostly forgotten. Once in a while, we had talked of making repairs but had debated if it would be worth the expense.
After deciding to restore the old building, I took inventory of its contents. In a way, it was a sentimental journey as I surveyed the items it contained. Among them were two old trunks which had belonged to my parents. The values represented by the items they contained were very different from those held today. For the next hour, I was lost in another world as I slowly viewed that which had been important to a prior generation.
Today most of those values, like the old cabin, have been neglected or even discarded by an increasingly secular society. Faith has been replaced with self-reliance. Religious dedication and worship of an almighty God have become passé. The Bible is no longer a best seller and worship has been usurped by an entertainment mentality and a “feel good” philosophy. Unattended and unused faith deteriorates with time. It loses power when neglected. Its value is lost when not practiced. Many individuals who started out strong have faltered. They, like the old cabin, have lost the integrity of a life once powered by faith, once possessed and practiced.
The good news is that faith, like the old cabin, can be reclaimed. Under Dan’s patience and expertise, walls were once again made strong and its contents secured as in the days when the cabin had been constructed. A small porch had been added and sometimes late in the afternoon I sit upon an old bench and watch twilight fall while thinking of another day.
The prophet encouraged God’s people with these words. “Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the old ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where in is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16).
This article was adapted from one of the author’s blogs that appear in The Ministry Continues at www.araylee.com.