There was a famous American Sitcom on television back in the late 1960’s and early 70’s called Green Acres. It was popular back when we had commercials on TV and theme songs to our favorite shows that you actually went around singing throughout the day. The theme song to this show was actually written by Vic Mezzy and went like this.
It starts out with you seeing New York lawyer Oliver Wendell Douglas who longs for a simpler way of life. Singing in his suit and tie………….
“Green acres is the place for me
Farm livin’ is the life for me
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside”
Then you see Eva Gabor, who plays, Lisa Douglas,his socialite wife, in her full-length gown trimmed in fur and wearing her ostentatious jewelry, standing on a baloney of a penthouse looking over New York City singing
“New York is where I’d rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue”
Then they go back and forth singing,
Finally you see Eddie Abert who plays Douglas singing “You are my wife”
And Eva sings, “Good bye, city life” Together they chime in “Green Acres we are there”.
It is a hysterical comedy where Oliver, buys a farm, sight unseen, and moves there to live off the land, much to the chagrin of his socialite wife, Lisa. The collision of small-town life and Lisa’s sophisticated ways where she insists on continuing to wear her full-length gowns and gaudy jewelry, while working on the farm, provides much of the humor in the show.
It is also a theme song that Jeff and I have sung to each other many times since he moved me to Kansas kicking and screaming 30 yrs ago this October. You see we were living in Atlanta GA. at the time, and through a series or miraculous events, God brought us to Kansas. Now, mind you I came because God said, not because I wanted to. Similar to Lisa on Green Acres I like my stores, I like the business of the city and the action and opportunities that comes with it.
Jeff on the other hand “Not so much” He likes the slow pace life of a small town. So for many years he and I jokingly sung this to each other because we knew that the truth is really neither of us chose to come to Kansas. God brought us here and ultimately wherever we go, and whatever we do, we are God’s and we follow His plan for our lives not our own.
So traveling and living in as many different places that I have lived has taught me a lot about people and culture. I went to 9 schools in 12 yrs so to say my family moved a lot as a kid is an understatement.
When Jeff and I moved to Kansas from Atlanta, GA. There were 2.5 million people that lived in the city of Atlanta at the time, when we came to Kansas there wasn’t 2.5 million people that lived in the whole state, let alone the city we moved to. So to me it was definitely like moving from the city to the country.
One thing I have noticed in living in small and large cities is there is a different perspective of how people view each other from city to country. In the city people don’t care where you come from, for the most part or who your family is. In the country, when people ask who you are, the last thing they want to know is your name, what they are really asking is “Who do you belong to?” and “Do I know them?” or “Can you be trusted?”
In the country people’s form of entertainment seems to mostly come from being in other people’s business, (example – owning police scanners and listening to it as a form of entertainment, when you are not a member of law enforcement or emergency management) verses in the City where everyone has their own business to attend to because they have places to go and people to see.
Another difference is in the city people don’t just show up at your house unannounced. People call before they come and it is usually, a scheduled time. Now mind you the differences I am talking about, don’t make one or the other right or wrong. It is just different cultures, different ways people live. It doesn’t make one better than the other, or one worst. It is simply my perception of what I have seen and experienced.
But there is another perspective I have seen too, I have often heard from people that have lived all their lives in small towns, “There is no way I could live in a big city, I couldn’t stand all those people looking at me” Or “I couldn’t stand all of those people in my business”
Which that perspective blows my mind because coming from a person who has lived in the city, I couldn’t find that farther from the truth. The truth is most people who live in the city could care less what their neighbors are doing. Unless you are bothering them,or need help, they will pretty much leave you alone. Because they have plenty of other things to keep them occupied they are not worried about being in their neighbors business.
But you know another perspective that blows my mind is people who believe that everyone is judging them, when they walk out their doors. Whether it is with their clothes, weight, or whatever. Satan is the author of isolation and if he can keep up all thinking everyone is judging each other, he can keep us isolating ourselves from each other.
Satan is the author of lies. In John 8:44 It tells us “…..for he is a liar and the father of lies.” when referring to satan.
I believe satan tells us that so we hold people at arm’s length and refuse to get close to people for fear they will find out who we really are and they will reject us. But the truth is, everybody feels like they are not good enough, that everyone else is probably doing a little better than they are, at least in some area of their life. Satan has woven that lie into so many people’s lives so much so it keeps us hidden away in our houses for fear of getting out and going to church or hanging with certain groups of people.
The bible says in Matt 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” No wonder satan doesn’t want us coming together with believers. He doesn’t want us knowing the power there is when followers of Christ come together and worship God.
It also tells us, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14. Did you hear that? In the multitude of counselors there is safety. Now the bible is not talking about just hanging out in any crowd here. But a crowd of believers, who are further along in their walk with Christ than you. It is saying here, when we don’t know what to do, seek out those believers who are further in their walk with Christ and ask them for help.
The truth is, satan doesn’t want us doing that because he knows we will find peace and understanding in that as well as be blessed and grow in our walk with Christ. So if satan can’t keep us all thinking we are all against each other, then he can keep us divided. He can keep us isolated and never grow in our faith.
But you may be saying right now “Alesa why does that even matter, I am a good person I don’t need other people to get to heaven” and to that I would respond.”That is the biggest lie you could believe” You see good people are not going to get to heaven. It takes a relationship with Jesus Christ to get to heaven and He didn’t just come to earth to give His life for us so we would be good. Christ gave His life so you would be saved and you would then go and tell others about Him. He didn’t come to make your life better, He came so you would be better in this life and you can’t be better and do better if you don’t grow in your understanding of Him.
As Christ followers we don’t just commit to living for God and then never learn anything else about Him. How can we live for Him if we don’t know who He is and how can we know who He is if we don’t learn from others who know more than we do?
YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the internet, Why? Because for the most part it is people telling people how to do something. Even if it is stupid things like eating tide pods. Many people look to the stars and their horoscopes to find what they should do in this life, but why not go to the creator of the stars instead? God is asking you to come to Him and the church is the YouTube of God to get that message to you. It is the earthly form that God created and still the biggest tool He uses to make a difference in this world and help us get the understanding we need to know Him better.
So what are you gonna do today? Will you allow the lies of satan to rule you? Will you allow those negative voices he is putting in your thought life to overtake you? How about you come out of the comfort zone of fear you are in, take the next step in your walk with Him and go to church, read your bible, begin to engage with others in a bible believing church who can help you grow in your understanding of Him and lets stop listening to the lies of satan and step into the green acres of a deeper relationship with Him. Alesa Lewis Miller is the Pastor’s wife of Lighthouse Worship Center, Greensburg Kansas, Mom, Mimi, Speaker, & Columnist. Find more of her stories at www.behindtheparsonagewalls.com