Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
A famous British Prime Minister in the 1860s, Benjamin Disraeli, stated, "Change is inevitable. Change is constant." I believe Mr. Disraeli must have traveled to the great North Shore as change has been clearly evident over several weeks. Most noticeable has been the dramatic Fall season changes along the entire North Shore. The colors have been vivid and inspiring to behold. It is little wonder that each weekend has seen a mass infusion of humanity to see and appreciate what we are privileged to call home year-round. Cathy and I have affectionately come to refer to this time of the year as the Great North Shore Weekend Parade, Fall Edition. This differs from the same title, but Memorial Day Edition. At one time, we were wondering how to go about researching potential car models for replacement candidates. Courtesy of the weekend traffic, we can now leisurely sit on our hill overlooking the highway and see how hundreds of
vehicles look as they drive by.
Another change I noticed was the change in ground flora this time of year. Where there had been a blue, purple, and pink lupine field, now there is a new abundant growth of purple weeds. Hold on – they are purple weeds with bright yellow inside. I used my handy phone app with plant identifiers to discover that these are actually asters that bloom this time of year. I have learned something new. In addition to the asters, the three apple trees, Haralson, have fully ripened. Still, another sure sign of seasonal change is the reemergence of the deer. They are definitely on the move again. I recently pulled into my driveway and had to stop as there were three does, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, in the driveway entrance, watching all of the passing traffic. You could almost read their minds – "Is it worth trying to cross the highway?" They turned and pranced around off into the woods. Still another, albeit more subtle change, is also noted. The rising sun on Lake Superior, or any lake up here for that matter, takes on its own unique calming benevolence when the light first becomes discernible on the lake surface. The Fall smells also define the
season, including the first wafts of wood smoke on a crisp, clear morning.
This time of year also calls for a change in preparation for the coming Winter and follow-on Spring. Cathy has spent weeks crafting a new showpiece garden. This has included lots of landscaping, rock moving, and
planting of new additions that will burst forth next Spring. An additional Fall requirement is to get the driveway ready for the inevitable snow to come. A further change is that we have built up the driveway to have a more compacted surface to make snow blowing easier. Several friends have asked where we live in relation to the house with the new driveway. That’s us.
Still, the lawn tractor is to be serviced and put away for the season, lawn furniture moved, and the dog acclimated to a new home. Yes, we added a new member to the family. Nakota was a former resident of the humane society in Duluth. All seems to be going well so far. Well, almost everything is going well. Our cat, Sophie, is being petulant. We did not consult her first on our new acquisition. She has absented herself from the human company for the time being.
Another famous Benjamin – Benjamin Franklin, also commented on change. He stated, "Change is the only constant. One's ability to adapt to these changes will determine your success in life." These past 10 months have shown how we have had to adapt to some of the most far reaching changes this country has seen in the past 50+ years. Even more changes are on the immediate horizon within the next month as a national election happens. I have had the privilege to have my voice heard through the ballot box for over 40 years. It has only been in this century that I have heard with such alarming insistence that each election determines our existence as a nation and as individuals. And each year we vote, adapt, and continue as a great nation and continue to progress as individuals. By ourselves, this is a daunting, virtually impossible task to perform because of our pronounced differences. However, God looks past our weaknesses, and graciously gives us his strength to carry on through all changes- regardless of who is elected for the various offices. I believe that is a fact that both Benjamins would agree on.
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Lamentations 3:22-24 (ESV)
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.”
May you be blessed by God’s word.