I like to do a little bragging.
I’m from Kansas, and I love it.
We are called a flyover state, because everybody on the East Coast traveling to the West Coast (or vice versa) considers their life hipper or more important than the happenings of this sparsely populated, agriculturally based, midwestern valued place I call home.
I was actually born in Los Angeles, but made it to Kansas before I ever even started school. I grew up in a little place called Great Bend, but spent my summers with my grandparents in the suburbs of L.A.
As a pastor, speaker and motivator I’ve been all around the country and several spots around the globe.
So, my bragging isn’t from a position of ignorance.
I’ve been around the world and back, and I still love Kansas.
In Kansas, I know were not the Bible Belt, and as a preacher that would have its advantages. Actually, were more like the belly button just above the buckle on that belt. It puts us just far enough north to make church and Christianity a choice and not some heredity disorder, or social norm… in Kansas, you go to church because you want to, or you don’t go.
In Kansas, we don’t have any of those ivory towers of the ivy league’s elite to tout our intellectual prowess. Honestly, the more I read about what’s coming down from those lofty heights, I’m glad. Group think, political correctness and social conformity just don’t settle well here… in Kansas, we mix our education with a little common sense and we still think for ourselves.
In Kansas, we’re not backwood country nor are we big city, in the least. We are rural. It means we know how to survive, there’s a Walmart in the next city, we measure distance by time not miles, snow doesn’t bring us to a halt and summer heat is just part of the job, tornado sirens make us run to the porch, and we actually know what amber waves of grain are… they are beautiful. We are right in the middle: a little too far north to be southerners, a little too far south to be over cultured, a little too far east to be your version of cool and little too far west to be remembered… in Kansas, we’re right where we want to be, on our own.
Some may not like the description I am about to use, but I’m gonna use it anyway since I am from Kansas and not really concerned with your evaluation. I think of myself and fellow Kansas as ‘refined rednecks.’ We’re smarter than you think and tougher than you imagine.
Kansas is not perfect. There are still bullies in our schools, fights at city hall and gossip at the donut shops, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. These thoughts aren’t meant to offend anyone else from any other place. I hope you are proud of wherever you call home… if not, you should move here. Lot’s of space, good people, and I here there’s a great church.
So, go ahead world, keep flying over. We’ll just keep doing what we always do: living life, shaking our heads at the news and praying for everyone else out there.
Ad astra per aspera… sorry, it’s a Kansas thing.