Riding the Circuit

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red-door3 “Too often students are given answers to remember rather than given problems to solve.” ~ Roger Lewin

“He’s a circuit rider,” my mother declared a few weeks ago when we discussed the pastor who married my niece two years ago.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Good Lord, you don’t know what a circuit rider is?”

“A cowboy who rides bucking bronchos in the rodeo circuit?” I guessed, shrugging my shoulders and feeling rather stupid.

My mother laughed. Oh, she laughed.

“We have one of those on this tiny island. We don’t have a large enough population of people in this community to support a full timer.”

“Well, you still haven’t told me what it is.” I said.

“Go see for yourself, he’ll be up at the white church with red doors on the island on Sunday. People say he’s really good at fulfilling his duties.”

“Which one?” I asked, trying to clarify which church had the red doors and the “circuit rider.” Honestly, I didn’t know any of the three churches on TaylorsIsland on the Chesapeake were still functioning.

“Just go to the church with the open doors at a quarter to twelve, the others may be locked up.” She said quickly, like she was brushing me off. She ran out of the house to do her shopping.

“Or maybe I will just Google to see what a circuit rider is.” I thought. My mother still hadn’t given me a definition.

“Nah, what fun is that? I’ll just go see for myself,” I thought.  My mother had piqued my interest.

“I’ll go in with an open mind.” I thought. But,  a circuit rider at a church? I questioned, as images of rodeo riders came to the forefront.

“Why don’t you go with me?” I asked my mother when she returned from her food shopping.

“Where?” my mother asked.

Our mother-daughter communications were obviously not working well that day.

“To see the circuit rider.” I said yelling to her from the dining room into the kitchen.

“I might, but I see him all the time about the island.” My mother replied.

“Hmmmm……A circuit rider?”

Come on back tomorrow. I will tell you what I found that warmed my heart and how fulfilling  was to learn what a circuit rider is.

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