Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
I shared not too long ago that we have a new dog, courtesy of the Duluth Humane Society. We also have a cat that we have had for three years, courtesy of another humane society. Suffice it to say that the first introductions were not cordially received, and the fur literally flew. Since then, we have been trying a slow-roll integration between the two to affect a more harmonious co-existence. Good luck with that! The 70-pound dog has totally settled into her new digs as her new house. The rest of us are just boarders. The cat has also adapted by secluding herself in my bedroom, and she is totally nocturnal, like "Hey, wake up. It's 3:00 a.m., and I want to talk." What are you going to do? Smile. I guess because that's what I've been doing.
Then there are those incidents in life where you just have to shake your head and say, "Really?" First, Cathy again found a great deal. Something for free. What could be better than that? A local lodging establishment was offering two free outdoor metal benches to be picked up. We decided we could definitely recondition and put the benches to good use around the homestead. Cathy opted to take the Nakota along for the 40-mile round trip excursion along the beautiful North Shore to make the experience even better. Surprise number one – the benches had already been picked up, and the person Cathy talked to was unaware of this fact. OK, it happens. The second surprise was that Nakota, in the truck, managed to lock the doors. Not too terrible, except that the keys to the truck, Cathy's purse, and phone were now keeping the dog company. Cathy called me from the establishment so I could also have the unplanned pleasure of a 40-mile round trip with the extra set of truck keys. Did I mention it was a beautiful day to travel along the fabulous North Shore? At this point, I need to state a little-known fact, but a fact nevertheless: God has a sense of humor. Almost exactly halfway to my destination, Cathy called via my
Bluetooth car system to let me know that she was back in the truck and all was as it should be. A good Samaritan from Wisconsin happened to be at the same location as Cathy and had the requisite skills with a coat hanger to effect entry into the truck. I had the exciting experience of trying to turn around on Highway 61 – to go south – on a Sunday afternoon – with the other hundreds of vehicles trying to go the same way. What are you going to do? I was smiling some more.
And then there was Monday. In 1966, the Mamas and the Papas recorded the hit song, “Monday, Monday.” Part of the lyrics are "Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way. Oh, Monday mornin' you gave me no warnin' of what was to be." How true that turned out to be. We had our driveway, our steep driveway, redone with five inches of packed and rolled dirt to prepare for the winter snows. We returned from a trip to Duluth to discover a freshly covered driveway with a skid steer doing a formidable job of leveling the dirt and sculpting the driveway and parking area.
I noticed the gentleman was looking apprehensive as he approached us. He informed us that the roller was not available until sometime the following week. We needed to stay off the driveway until then. What could we do? Shrug our shoulders and smile. An inconvenience? Yes, but we had done workarounds before where the driveway was not available. And then it rained. We were also told that even with the rain, we had to let the driveway dry to harden before driving on it. (Sigh) OK, I am ready to be done with surprises, but no, wait, now the National Weather Service has decided to add to the unexpected. They are forecasting a possibility of 1-3" inches of snow this Saturday. Well, it is the North Shore, after all. I take solace and comfort in the fact that Spring is only 158 days away, but who is counting?
The Bible is an excellent source of encouragement when things don't seem to be going the way we think they should. It is a great reminder that God has already made provisions to ease our anxiety and stress in these very turbulent and uncertain times. What is unsure to us has already been decided by God. I think I'll just relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery he has provided for us.
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Luke 12:31 (NLT)
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.”
May you be blessed by God’s word. Chris