Home Lifestyle RAMBLINGS: Good things can come from bad experiences

RAMBLINGS: Good things can come from bad experiences

What a week! Last week, I think, will remain one of the more memorable series of memories among the many in my aging brain.

Last Sunday, I met my first cousin at Shiloh Presbyterian Church in Hoke County for its annual homecoming service and covered dish luncheon.

My cousin had come from New York City for his high school reunion that was the night before and he decided to remain in the area a week longer to take in the homecoming at the church of our youth and to do some visiting since he had not been in the area for several years.

Rufus McLean, a native and resident of Rockingham, is now the minister at Shiloh and gave a memorable and inspiring message during his sermon to the members, past and present, and the many guests. The overall theme of the sermon related to the universality and inevitability of suffering and God’s grace seeing us through these situations.

It made me think of what my late husband referred to as everybody’s “cross-eyed bears.” We too often do not have an inkling of what some people may be going through at any time or place in their lives.

During the week of my cousin’s visit, we discussed how seemingly bad and tragic events in our lives had somehow changed us … often for the better in the long term of our lives. This message was even in a movie we watched on TV last week, “Father Stu.” I would highly recommend it.


Shiloh Church, like so many churches today, is facing the challenges of remaining a community church. Families that had once lived in this community for generations are now gone. Many of these families lived on family farms and these farms are now long gone. Shiloh, located on Hwy. 211 between Aberdeen and Raeford, will soon lose some of its land area and a portion of the adjoining cemetery because of the future widening of this highway to four lanes.

Because of a burgeoning Ft.Bragg, there are several new housing developments where farms used to be.

Shiloh is fortunate to still have a loyal and devoted small group of members and a faithful minister like the Rev. McLean. The success of the homecoming surely reflected the hard work invested in keeping this church alive.

My cousin unexpectedly had his return flight to NYC canceled because of Hurricane Ian. He decided to take an Amtrak train from Fayetteville the next day. Even though this was an inconvenience, he said he really did not mind too much because plane flights are now not like they used to be because of longer lines, search procedures, cramped seating, flight delays and cancelations. A train ride is a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience, he said.

There you go … good things can often come out of bad experiences. Maybe as bad as Hurricane Ian was, it might hopefully be a wake-up call about the severe danger to the human race because of the horrible effects from global warming and we will more expediently move away from oil and coal dependence and prepare now for hurricanes even worse than Ian.

Helen Cox is a former journalist and educator in Richmond County.