When it comes to family-related matters,
I'm known as a traditionalist.
In fact, there are some who think I would like
to take the American family back to the days of
Ozzie and Harriet.
But that criticism is preposterous.
I don't want to go back to Ozzie and Harriet.
I want to go back to Mayberry -
with Sheriff Andy Taylor and the gang.
I loved it when Barney Fife said,
"My whole body's a weapon!"
Obviously, I know that Mayberry never existed -
that Aunt Bea and Opie were figments
of the writers' imagination.
But there is validity to the theme of that sitcom....
Here I have found something that Dr. Dobson and I agree about. While Mayberry never existed as small-town America, it remains for many of us as a figment of our imagination as well as that of the writers of the sitcom. Mayberry becomes the place where living is simple, peaceful, and built on the relationships that draw us together. Even the issues that arose were never too difficult to be overcome within thirty minutes.
2009 is a different kind of place than is found in Mayberry 1959. And yet ... are we not called to use our imagination to build the kind of world in which we want to live? Can we not begin to build a community within the world where we can live ... peacefully, simply, together?
This remains my hope for this coming year. May your journey today down the yellow brick road take you through the Mayberry of your imagination.