Today is a good day

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024

I was birthed in a little rural hospital in Northeast Mississippi, just shy of a mile from where I later planned to attend community college (but didn’t), and approximately 5 miles from where my parents and older brother lived. 

Not long thereafter, our family moved north about 30 miles — my dad leaving as pastor of one small church to be pastor of another — then again a couple of years later 20 or so miles west-northwest to where my dad would serve as pastor of a larger church for a decade. It was there, in West Corinth, that I played with my brother and younger sister in our large yard, on the hills of the nearby Civil War Battery/Fort Robinette, and on the huge outdoor basketball court/church parking lot; rode my bike and played countless games of catch with one of my best friends; gave my life to Jesus; fell in love with C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia; made life-long friends; and learned that crab apples make incredible projectiles to hurl at one’s sibling.

As a young teen, we relocated 200 miles south to a town no one had ever heard of, and many of my friends were sure I’d just made up. But Chunky was (and is) real, and my parents still live there, as does my sister and her brood. 

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I graduated from a small high school that no longer exists; rode my bike far enough away to get myself grounded, as well as the friend with whom I pedaled (both of us grounded by my mother); played one year of football (not very well); had a bicycle wreck that imbedded asphalt in my face and convinced at least one classmate that I was dead (I asked her later why she didn’t come to my funeral); spent countless hours with friends listening to music, mainly; understood God wanted me to go into church work/ministry; made life-long friends; and learned that bottle rockets make incredible projectiles to fire from one’s handlebars at friends and siblings. 

In the 35 years since, I’ve lived in multiple places in multiple cities and towns, including Hattiesburg, New Orleans, Northwest and Central Louisiana, in and near Chunky again, and in Southwest Mississippi, where I now reside and hope to remain. After about 20 moves — not including all the times I moved in and out of student housing — I have no desire to do it again. Ever. Plus, I like where I live. 

I’ve always loved lakes and streams, woods and trails, animals both domesticated and wild, and a place to sit outside and enjoy just existing in God’s amazing creation. I have that where I live, with my own animals and the neighbors’ dogs and horses, wild animals all around, a lake, woods, etc. We don’t have a lot, but I love what we have, where we are, and I am immensely grateful for it. 

But in the same way that nothing learned is ever in isolation, in a vacuum, but cumulative — added to and integrated into what we already know — where I am now in life is the same. It is cumulative, built on, added to, grafted into where I have been in the past. I’m not just talking about the houses, mobile homes, RVs, cabins, or apartments in which I have resided, but all the things I have lived through — successes and failures; all the people I have known — friend, foe, family; all the opportunities I have taken or squandered; all the sickness, all the strength, all the “stuff” … I am grateful to be where I am in life. I have plenty of growth yet to do, but even as I assess my pains, scars, regrets, shortcomings, etc., I am grateful for all the blessings I have, and the people and God who have blessed me.

Because of all of it, today is a good day.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at