Written By :Chaplain Chris Belfield
I wasn’t there, but Cathy was. The long-anticipated return of Grandma’s Marathon. This was the first national marathon event held since the pandemic took hold last year. I imagine you would have to be there to take it all in. Well, the next best thing is to watch a video that the Two Harbors Chamber of Commerce posted regarding the start of this momentous occasion. Let’s see there was the train that brought the runners and others up from Duluth. There was an almost virtual sea of humanity as the runners gathered on the scenic highway at the starting line and extended several hundred yards back. Then the moment I waited for. No, not the start. As the camera panned around to take in the vista view, there was a group of lime green-clad individuals standing together like a miraculous growth of new vegetation. These were the Lake County Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, who were
there to assist the marathon organizers and runners. There was Cathy in her lime green vest. Shortly afterward the sea of humanity began an ebb and flow that slowly and inexorably made its exodus from Two Harbors towards the final destination in Duluth. It was a perfect day with sunshine, a gentle breeze, and temperatures in the 60s. What could be better? This observation from a former runner of many decades ago.
The day following the marathon was the official first day of summer. True to the North Shore, it had to start memorably and uniquely: that being 47 degrees at sunrise. Nonetheless, it was the start and everything else that goes along with summer commenced with determined vigor. All of the parks are full of visitors. The campgrounds abound with vehicles and tents of every description. Businesses are thriving again, and children are playing on almost every street. Plans are being made to maximize the time available for vacations, visiting, new projects to be planned, and old ones to be completed.
I have heard it said by wise sages of the past, that you can't finish what you don't start. And so it is that it seems that more time is often spent in planning to start than in actually starting the event and finishing. I look at all of the new construction throughout the north shore area and marvel at all of the meticulous planning that goes into some of these projects. Of course, there is always the possibility that experience has provided a good guide for future endeavors. I imagine that this also applies to road and building construction projects. Still, they are wonderful to see in operation. We have a new front patio going in at this time. The ground, rocks, and uneven lay of the yard made this seem like a daunting challenge. Trust the professionals, they know what they are doing. Within a few short hours, the ground was cleared and leveled with the forms for the patio set. The rocks were all gone and had been
re-purposed as a natural foundation border. Who would have thought? Another start greatly anticipated is the start of school with no restrictions, so children can complete their return journey to normalcy. Many may chastise me for even mentioning school at the start of summer, but trust me, plans are already being made on the start-up procedures. There are also new starts where there is a hoped-for outcome, but you’re never quite sure as you go along day-to-day. Starting a new business, a new
family, or even a life change such as retirement. Then there are those times when a re-start may be required. The pandemic affected so much of the economy that many had to start with new jobs, new
careers in new locations. Health issues can also affect when we may need to start new life patterns. Even the loss of a loved one may necessitate a re-start in living a new life. God has always allowed us to start a new life with him. Be assured that he will watch over us and provide what we need and also to know that no matter what happens in our lives, he is always with us, and will always love us.
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Romans 6:4 (NIV) “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
May you be blessed by God's word. Chris