Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
Why did we wait so long to move to the North Shore? Well, to be fair, there were: multiple careers, raising children, retirements, and selling a home north of the metro area. That all only took 40 years, but the wait
was definitely worth it. In my last career of twenty years, I treated myself to a hot cup of tea to start my day. Now that I have been officially “finally retired” for the past 2 ½ years, I have become totally decadent
and give in to two cups of hot tea each morning. I'm talking manly tea here – English Teatime or Earl Grey black tea. Now, mornings are for enjoying tea and being with Cathy and the pets. This cherished tea time is also for catching up on world events. This is accomplished via multiple cellphone news services to get a balanced mix of news – if such a thing is possible while sitting in my favorite chair.
The other morning we enjoyed the quiet solitude of the morning as a "family" when a slowly perceptible annoyance became apparent. I couldn't determine what it was until it was staring me straight in the face – the sun. It was not just any sun but a North Shore winter sun in all of its glory and majesty. What made this so noticeable was the intensity of the light, so much to be distracting. Looking out the front window, we have a fantastic vista view of Lake Superior. On this particular morning, the sunlight cascaded across the lake glistening like thousands of silver Christmas lights. It was reminiscent of past moments of peace and serenity. Interestingly, these memories also involved bodies of water in northern Minnesota. Let’s see, there was the time I saw the same glistening as the sun rose over Cass Lake, after an early morning run along the trails, and before others were outside. The only sound disturbing the calming silence was the wistful call of a loon on the lake. Another memory was coming out of the cabin on Crazy Woman Lake and seeing the lake's same effect as the sun was just breaking above the horizon. There was a calmness and peace that I wished would never end. It's at times like that where you can take time to look around and really appreciate all that God has created. He allowed you the opportunity to enjoy the splendor of his creation – even if only for a few brief moments. I’ll never forget it.
If we can have visual reminders of times fondly remembered, how about auditory reminders? Some songs or sounds magically transport us to another time and place, often with special meanings for us. For me, a particular song that takes me to such places as getting my first transistor radio in the 1960s. Imagine getting a half dozen AM stations on a pocket radio and being able to take it anywhere. It even came with a leather case and an earphone - only for one side. The first song I remember hearing was Percy Faith's "Theme from a Summer Place.” https://youtu.be/Jx01TRq0YVo. It was the first time I ever heard French horns, and they are still my favorite orchestral instrument to this day. What about you? What takes you
back to happy memories?
So, here we are in the first full week of January 2021. We already have enough distractions to keep us occupied for the remainder of the year and beyond. That's the pessimist in me rearing its negative head. However, the born optimist in me says that the lakes, rivers, beautiful landscape, and sun are still there to behold and enjoy. Indeed, there is beauty abounding all around us. It just takes a second or two to readjust our perspective to take it in and appreciate it. Don’t look now, but I think the sun is also rising for you. What do you see?
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)
“And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
May you be blessed by God's word.