Heaven Ho!

Dear Reader:

One of the very first educational computer games was a social studies adventure called The Oregon Trail! So many students wanted to play it (and at the time the only computers were in the media center ) that the sign-up sheet/s were a mile long! I soon realized I could hold this over my students’ heads as a good behavior incentive.

Of course the Westward Expansion unit of study was always very popular but until last week I had never considered using this unit of study to parallel our own life paths. But author Barbara Johnson did and I felt great excitement…like a pioneer discovering a new path to the promised land.

Think about the initial path heading west. First there were only small foot trails through the forests. Eventually the trails widened to accommodate the pioneers’ Conestoga wagons hauling everything from pearls to pump organs-treasures they would need in their new homes.

But gradually -like the challenge on the computer game-The Oregon Trail-the pioneers’ priorities changed as the days passed and hardships set in. Besides a river swollen by flood waters, they discarded the piano that threatened to sink the wagon.

At the foot of the mountains, cherished furniture and chests were abandoned. In the middle of the desert, they sometimes left behind the wagon and all it contained. Then, once again, they needed only a narrow trail, one person wide.

Now think about our own life path. Isn’t that how we will approach our heavenly ” promised land”: empty handed, with all our ” important ” earthly priorities littering the roadway behind us as once again… it narrows down to a path just one person wide

So until tomorrow … keep life simple. When it comes to Heaven -we can just show up in our birthday suits-it really want matter-since we will be clothed in God’s radiant glory!

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

Couldn’t resist this ” funny” – Lewis and Clark really weren’t supposed to be gone so long exploring the new westward lands for Jefferson… they simply did not want to admit in front of Sacajawea that they were lost.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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