Going to Kokomo

In a famous song, the Beach Boys sing about a place called Kokomo. They sing:
"Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go, Jamaica.
Off the Florida Keys, there's a place called Kokomo
That's where you wanna go to get away from it all."

This song rings of the spirit of this season when some will take trips to exotic locales to get away from the normal rhythm of life. Summer is the season of travel and adventure.

Recently, while enjoying breakfast at Betsy's Crepes in Southern Pines I sat near a couple dressed in golf attire. The woman wore a nice hat with the word "Kualoa" embroidered on the side. I complimented her on the beautiful hat and she told me she and her husband travel to Hawaii every year. "We've been going to Kualoa Ranch for forty years. It's our little piece of heaven." I had never heard of Kualoa Ranch, but I imagined it to be a version of paradise not unlike the Beach Boys' Kokomo.

The couple were gracious in sharing their stories of Kualoa Ranch and I came away feeling like I had taken a momentary vacation by visiting with them. That's the power of shared stories.

However, coming away from the conversation, as much as I enjoyed this couple's stories, I found myself struck that this couple would need to travel that far away to experience their little piece of heaven. She said they live in Pinehurst on one of the main course fairways. Isn't that close to heaven for golf people?

When I've driven around Pinehurst and seen the meticulously manicured lawns with the gorgeous landscaping and have felt the North Carolina sand hills sunshine warming my face I've said, "What a beautiful place to live. This place is heavenly."

Maybe even those of us lucky enough to live in Moore County sometimes need a taste of a different slice of heaven. So we travel.

And yet, as Christians, we know we are always close to heaven no matter where we live and no matter where we travel. For in Christ Jesus the kingdom of God has come near. As much as we may enjoy the natural beauty and get-away pleasure of places like Kokomo and Kualoa Ranch, we know that heaven is never far from us because of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

This summer I encourage you to explore the world in appreciation of the beauty and wonder of God's creation. Get out there and get away for a minute! But remember that you carry heaven with you always through your faith and the ever present grace of God.


Pastor Frank

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