I was out walking one day
A leisurely stroll you may say
When I happened on a gated community
Not quite out of my way.
It was walled almost all around
But its gates were opened wide
So having much time to spare
I thought I would venture inside.
I was impressed with the arrangement
Of the residences inside,
So particularly were they ordered
To a design definitively prescribed.
I strolled along the avenues
Inspecting each one as I went
While all the while I was thinking,
“What was the designer’s intent?”
They were mostly the same size
A few were different though
And from the elaborate edifices
One could determine the high and low.
Some appeared to be very old
While others were freshly built,
I could tell by the earth around them
There was a mixture of rocks and silt.
It was all quiet and peaceful
As though they were in for the day
Or perhaps the adults were out to work
And the children at school or play.
No one was one around to question
So I decided to explore some more,
Up and down the avenues I walked
To see what else was in store.
In some cases special care was taken
As to make the habitat the best
And I must certainly confess
That I was extremely impressed.
Some of the boundaries were walled
With wrought iron as the finish
While others were open to all
More like the kind I would relish.
The flowers and shrubs were plenty
Presenting a most delightful sight
And the birds, butterflies and bees
Were back and forth in their flight.
My mind shifted from the residences
To the residents that were within,
Who were they I wondered
And whether they were saved from sin.
I wondered about their contribution
To their community and the Nation
And their obligation to themselves
Particularly regarding their salvation.
And what about their children
And those of whom they were given charge
Were they just taken up with themselves?
Or looked out for the community at large?
Not far away was a church
And not too far from that was another,
I wondered how many attended either
Or whether they never bothered.
Today our lives are so fast paced
And we are so keen to stay in the race
That many go by unnoticed
And suddenly they vanished without a trace.
Here I was in this community
Preoccupied with the plight of its residents
Wondering about its adults and children
And what were their purpose and intent.
Eventually I was back at the gate
Fortunately it was still flung open wide,
Still preoccupied with I all I had seen
I proceeded to the outside.
I walked away a little
In the direction from which I had come
Then I stopped and looked back
Towards the setting sun.
It appeared far different from earlier
When I first started out on my stroll,
From white it was now orange coloured
And the evening was becoming cold.
It vividly reminded me of life
With the vibrancy and vigour of youth
And then as the sun begins to set
We come face to face with the truth.
The truth regarding our destination
Is not to be confused with our destiny
For as we close our eyes in death
Preparation is made for another community.
This community is our destination
It is where we are interred at death
But our destiny is much different
And goes far beyond our last breath.
It is really about an eternity
Either with God or without
And in the case of both communities
There is no chance of a turn about.
You see I had strolled into a community
From which I was able to walk out,
The difference between me and its occupants
Was that this life still gives me some clout.
Now I could come and go as I pleased
They no longer could do the same
But some future time should the good Lord tarry
In such a community I too will rest my frame.
There too most homes will be alike
Except for the pillars others will erect
But these won’t matter to those interred
Whether rich or poor death has no respect.
A stroll with a difference I would say
And particularly morbid I would add
But if you should enter without Jesus Christ
There will come a day most sad.
Stewart Russell © 2017