It only took one thing … a lesson from Lexington, VA

What a lovely town.

Wait.

One bad apple.

I came across this statement … I really loved my job, but there was this one jerk there who made life miserable for everyone. One bad apple spoils the whole barrel, unfortunately. (From the web, not my life, just to be clear)

You know what I mean.

Last week I fell on my hike. I won’t let that little spill ruin what was a beautiful time appreciating creation.


Editors note: as I write the next few paragraphs, I realize Lisa will scold me for sharing too much. Such is life. But it gets my point across.


This weekend, Lisa and I visited a lovely little town … Lexington, VA. Walked the streets, got chocolate at the Cocoa Mill, drove around Washington Lee College and passed by the football stadium of VMI while they were combating another collegiate team, ate on the patio of a downtown eatery, walked by Stonewall Jackson’s home, visited The Urban Farmgirl and Walkabout Outfitters, and so much more. Lisa enjoyed the weather, delighted in the little shops, and treasured the company she was with (me!)

But, as we left town, we passed the Red Hen Restaurant. This little bistro gained national notoriety when they asked a then-current part of the presidential team to leave. It made all the news outlets and caused quite the discussions. This Muddy Shoes pondering isn’t about politics, but about being aware of impressions we leave.

It changed the outlook on the little town. And not in a good way. How is it our impression of something changes because of one aspect … one aspect that seems to overshadow all others? I see this all the time in church life. One disappointment changes our mood. One bad sermon and we write of that preacher. One rude person or one time of being ignored, and we think all at the church are like that. One less than stellar worship, and we begin to look elsewhere.

One bad apple.

What would it be like if we focused on the positive, see life through eyes of grace, and realize we live in a broken world?

Lexington … quaint and adorable. Clean and inviting. Delightful and worth the trip. I will not let that one bad apple spoil my trip.

And when it comes to worship … one bad sermon will not make me give up on that church. I will just commit to do a better sermon next time. Grace can take bad apples and make something great … maybe apple pie! I could go for some apple pie.

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