Visiting famous “Billy Bob’s” in Ft Worth, Texas over Thanksgiving, was a step back in time. Our first year of marriage, we lived in the “beautiful” west Texas city of Lubbock. That was 35 years ago. Extra spending money was limited so we were forced to be creative with any recreational activities. On Thursday nights there was no entrance fee at “Coldwater Country,” a country western hall, because the fraternities at Texas Tech University were having their mixers. Ding! This fit our bill! This country western hall was complete with a honky tonk band and mechanical bull. Bill and I learned to kicker dance here, but we never quite got down the cotton-eyed-Joe.
Fast forward all these years later and we were standing in “Billy Bob’s” with our family. This establishment is one of the showcase country western halls in Texas. There is a mechanical bull, a live rodeo, several places to eat, a retail store, a concert area and of course a place to dance. Couples were dancing more sophisticated than years ago with their elaborate spins, turns and dips. Hundreds of people filled the place from high school age to those not far from the geriatric ward. I was surprised that people were still allowed to smoke cigarettes inside the building. Again, some things don’t change.
This part of Texas culture has been around for a long time and isn’t planning on changing anytime soon. Generations have been enjoying these places. When I visit I am always welcome to join in but know ahead of time that suggestions for improvement aren’t welcomed from folks back east.
Many people and places hold on especially tight to their way of thinking and doing things. It gives security and becomes a trademark, their signature. To think that one person can show and come in and change the way people think or how things are done is not going to happen. This is true whether you are in Texas, an Auburn or Alabama football fan or a broker on Wall Street.
In contrast, there is so much that is changing in our world. There are areas where we have no control: Paris bombings; workplace shooting; death of loved ones; decisions made by leaders. These events can change life on a dime. It can change whether you are in a concert dance hall or cheering for your favorite team at a football game. No matter how hard we try to hold on to our traditions, our ways of thinking and our ways of doing life we cannot fight the change that happens when life turns upside down.
All that is around me will eventually change. God, the Sovereign Lord, will never change. He sees the big picture of what is going on in my life and in the world. We can be spinning on a dance floor one day and fighting for our life in a hospital the next day. God is with me in both of these places.
This Christmas season I will put up greenery that will turn brown at the end of the month, bake cookies that will be on my hips in January and say hello to loved ones who are struggling with health issues. Yes, these events will change, but I need to be reminded of the One who never changes. I pray that as I think of past traditions and the way life has been in the past that I will not hold too tightly. The immutable God, the never changing God, wants to be with me in these new places.
“I am God- yes I AM. I haven’t changed.” Malachi 3:6 (The Message)
One thought on “Billy Bob’s”
Lindy, thank you for another message that touched my heart, reminding me that God is always with me, through good or difficult times.