Here are a few excerpts from the article "Potterville Nation" which Pastor Williams mentioned on Sunday:
Our lives seldom attain to any glory, not here. Only a few men can be war heroes, like Harry Bailey, or business magnates, like Sam Wainwright. The rest of us, just about everybody, will face the choice that the protagonist, George Bailey, faced all his life. We may recognize the duties that bind us to this spouse, these children, these neighbors, this family history, this utterly ordinary place called Bedford Falls, or we may go our own way, and pursue those objects of appetite that we commonly call “our dreams.”
Potterville is, of course, where we now live. I make no special claim to holiness here. I live in Potterville too, and have helped to make it what it is. But I do notice it. Potterville is a place of abandonment.
We form romantic attachments, we play house. Then we break the attachments, and abandon the house. No harm done, except to our capacity to love, and to cleave only unto one person, till death do us part. We marry, and have children, and abandon the children to the care of strangers. We leave town, not to become a citizen of another town, but to become a citizen of no town at all, and abandon the work of local government to a few meddlers nearby and an army of bureaucrats from far away... Mass entertainment has degraded minds and souls everywhere, and we sigh, and say that it has always been that way, although something tells us that our grandfathers and grandmothers made their own entertainment, with their kin and their neighbors. But those cultural habits have been abandoned, too... Since Potterville is a place of abandonment, the churches follow suit, and abandon their mission. That makes everybody happy. The people of Potterville want to divorce, dispose of their children, and follow their dreams. So the churches avert their eyes, demurely, when their parishioners divorce—for the churches are old ladies in lavender, and must observe certain proprieties. They fairly encourage the people to dispose of their children. Doctrine? Catechism? Confessions? Preaching must submit to the times: the Potterville Times.
No, Bedford Falls cannot satisfy. Nor can your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your body, your anything on earth. But what do we seek, leaving and leaving again? Consider it, next time you are in the Potterville International Airport, to be found wherever planes depart. For Potterville Airport is a peculiar place in this regard, as George Bailey learned, though he had to suffer to learn it. All its planes come from Potterville, and land in Potterville. He who would valiant be, let him turn to the ordinary business at hand. The true pilgrimage is here.
Read the whole article here: Potterville Nation by Anthony Esolen.