Friday, August 24, 2007

I Was a Pioneer Girl

I was a Pioneer Girl when I was young. Pioneer Girls was a cross between Bible Club and Girls Scouts, giving us fun things to do, scriptures to memorize, and leaders who mentored us. Each girl had a "pal" who was their special mentor. Mine was Mrs. Jonas- a pastor's wife with silver hair and a bright smile. I remember going to her house and baking with her one day. I don't think she ever gave me any specific talks on how to be a success or how to be a pastor's wife one day (which is what I did become)- but I do remember looking at her and thinking how strong she was, how confident and stable she was. I wanted to be like that.

What I remember most of all, about Pioneer Girls, was the theme song we sang every week. I'm not sure they sing this anymore- maybe it's too hokey and old fashioned for today's standards. But I haven't ever forgotten the song- or the message.

"Pioneers across the prairie, in the days of wagon trains,
Pressing On to New Horizons, in our hands, God's Precious Word...." (sung with a solemn, purposeful look on the face)

Somewhere in these last couple years, and specifically these last months, I have adopted into my vocabulary the phrase "onward!". I never noticed how often I said it or thought it or encouraged others with it until I began to read back my writing, my e-mails to others, my messages. If I didn't specifically say the word, I was certainly always thinking it as I encouraged people, as I encouraged myself- on those dark days- in the Lord.

I am a TRUE pioneer girl, and Mrs. Jonas would be proud of me. I have pressed onward when I would have liked to quit. I don't say this proudly or arrogantly- but hear me now, I do say this confidently. You have to KNOW what you are made of- the stock from which you've come. You've got to know that you're the type that will press onward, that you are of the "violent" group who hear the good news of the Kingdom's message, and "seize it".

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." NKJV Matt 11:12

Better said, and explained, is the Amplified version:
12And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize--a [a]share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].

If you're "pressing on to new horizons" you are most certainly seeking with ardent zeal and intense exertion. And it should feel like you are. Flabby purpose and half-hearted goals are not the earmarks of a pioneer of Christ.

This past year felt like a cross country wagon train expedition. Indians came out of hiding and shot arrows at me- at my prospects, my means of getting somewhere. (Vehicle after vehicle broke down, just after I had broken down in health).Sickness plagued our wagon - and made a feisty, capable woman like me feel like a marshmallow crossed with an old woman. (Mono is something young people battle with more vigor that I could!) As we crossed new frontiers, the distances between wagons grew larger, and words of encouragement grew farther in between. (You can be around Christians but feel very alone sometimes. The Church is a terrible place to waste...away). It's often lonely when you're journeying onward...and onward...and you still can't "see" your destination ahead.

I had a check up at the cardiologist yesterday. (Long story short, mono brought out some previous problems I had with my heart twenty years ago). My heart is in fairly good shape, but there's a couple tiny problems. But his overall assessment of my heart was made in comparing my heart to what people looked like at the Gym. "Some people's hearts are muscular and toned- yours is a bit flabby looking" the doctor told me.

As long as it's beating, I thought rather dryly. This was the same doctor who several months ago had told me to hold off on all exercise. Now I'm supposed to have a muscular, vigorous heart that looks like it wants to scale mountains?! A Mountain Climber's Heart?

I sense a new calling, now. From pioneer to mountain climber- it's all in a day's journey ...onward.


Jody said...

I too was a Pioneer Girl and you have the song wrong your memory has failed you. "Pioneer girls who crossed the prairie in the days of wagon trains pressing on with strength and purpose scaled the mountains crossed the plains and today in joyful service of our saviour , lord and king we'll go on to new horizons from our hearts to him we sing....prayer

Teresa said...

Pioneer Girl from Ashland, Oregon.

Adrienne said...

I was in the Pioneer Girls in Palo Alto, Ca and always remembered that song. Fond memories of it.

Jennifer Brown said...

I was a Pioneer Girl in Chesapeake Virginia.. I loved earning the Ranks and Badges. and the pledge.. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path".. I still have the handbook.. ratty and faded.

Debbie Peterson Peace said...

I was Pioneer Girl from Pittsburgh Pa and Mrs Lindberg was our leader. To this day I remember standing in our circle holding hands and singing the Pioneer Girl theme then reciting Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I still have my pin blue beanie and sash.

Karen said...

Differently remembered words from my (early 70's)Chicago Pioneer Girls days:
Pioneers who crossed the prairie in the days of wagon trains, pressing on with strength of purpose scaled the mountains crossed the plains. And today in loving service unto Jesus Christ our Lord, we'll go on to new horizons in our hands God's precious Word.
~I only wish the friendships made there would have carried through to adulthood.

Anonymous said...

Pioneer Girl from Kitchener, Ontario. Canada