Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
Who would have thought that by the last week in February we on the North Shore would be enjoying bright sunshine and temperatures in the low 40’s? Usually, we would be grateful for anything above 0 and not experiencing the weekly snow events that in years past have been accepted as normal this time of year. But then, as we all realize, this past year has been anything but normal. What a roller-coaster ride to be sure.
The good is not only the noteworthy weather changes but also the positive attitude that is permeating so many conversations around the area. Not only is there an abundance of hope, but also the surety that things are, and will continue to improve locally. Vaccinations are being administered weekly to those eligible and as supplies permit. Plans are being tentatively made for activities later in the year where it is hoped that people can gather together again. Business changes are occurring to provide more services and opportunities to our Northland area. Have you heard that there is going to be a new miniature golf course located in Silver Bay, near the new Black Beach campground? If all goes according to plan, we will
be enjoying it sometime this summer. The local newspaper carried a front-page article last week regarding a random act of kindness where over 100 signs were posted in Two Harbors and Silver Bay acknowledging
appreciation for Lake Superior School District employees and their service, with the encouragement, “Hang in there!” Sage advice for all of us to take note of.
Then there was the bad. The newspaper also carried the weekly posting of those who had passed away. Cathy and I have only called Lake County home for the past 33 months. Some might think that is not a lot of time to get to know people and form lasting bonds of friendship. Not so. When you see someone's obituary that you know, it brings home how quickly friendships are formed and how fleeting life can be. I only met Linda two years ago but quickly formed a friendship based on her wit and humor and my having
the privilege of being able to visit her. What stood out was her embodiment of the all too seldom used moniker – a lady. She had class, charm, and a vast breadth of interests to discuss. A true friend to all, and a woman who was not shy about sharing her thoughts with you. She also loved anything to do with bears. She is missed by many.
I'm torn between this next item being good or bad. Ok, how about a little of both? Amy has been providing service to so many in the community for over two decades at the American Legion. So it came as a bit of shock that she is now moving onward and upward. Some people are so foundational to an organization that we just assume that they will always be there. Amy is that person. The entire area will now benefit from Amy's new position at the Two Harbors License Bureau. A win-win situation for Amy and the
Then there's the muddy. Need I say anymore? With the unseasonal warmth has come the inevitable melt. Now, normally I'm all for the melt as it signals spring is here. However, we still have 23 days of winter left and we all know that real spring doesn't show up here on the North Shore until early May. This is all playing games with my feeble mind. I mean it is great to walk on patches of uncovered ground. I didn't say dry ground because it is soggy and muddy. The kind of mud where you step in it and it says, "Whoa, where do you think you’re going. Just leave the boots and move on." Even if the mud were to dry-up we all know that this is just an aberration and our spring snowstorm coming. The kind where it is so wet and heavy that the brand new snowblower says, "Nope, not me and not today." Regardless, this too shall pass and we will be enjoying real spring weather with all the glories of new growth and new opportunities. What a wonderful affirmation that God is with us every day through the good, the bad, and even the muddy.
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
May you be blessed by God's word.