Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
The great thing about living on the North Shore is that there are always new discoveries to be made. This past week brought that realization into focus with great clarity.
Last Sunday morning, we returned home from supporting our local restaurant and enjoying a sumptuous breakfast. There had been a fair amount of dew the night before, and it was still humid. As we exited the truck, we both noticed something glistening on the lawn. It turned out to be a spider web. Now, I have never seen a ground spider web before. Add to that, when we looked around the yard, we could see at least a half dozen more scattered about. Some may be reading, or hearing this, and thinking what a sheltered life I must have had. You are quite correct. I grew up just outside the Washington, D.C. Beltway. Enough said.
Then there was my discovery at Gooseberry State Park. I am doing a wedding ceremony this week at the park, and I wanted to make sure I had the location correct. The ceremony will be outside, with the majestic vista of Lake Superior as a memorable backdrop. After conferring with the always friendly and knowledgeable park staff, I was directed to the correct area. However, when I arrived at the designated area, I realized I had never been there before. Now, I have been coming to the park for several years before retiring here. I thought I knew the best areas to see. To my surprise and delight, I had found a new location. It had been there all along. However, it was new to me. In my exuberance, I dutifully informed Cathy of my latest discovery. I shared that there was another beach for her to do agate hunting at. In great patience, Cathy explained she already knew about the beach area, as her family had come there many times during her childhood. In my defense, she is a native Minnesotan.
Then there were the new discoveries that relatively new friends allowed me to experience. The first was during a weekly video visit with a friend who is in hospice. I'd like to think I am doing my best to be a good friend and encourage him during our visits. However, the truth of the matter is that he is always inspiring me and educating me with his years of wisdom. It happened that our conversation came around to talking about my novice efforts as a budding woodturner. I digress here to state that you are never too old to learn a new hobby. During this conversation, my friend informed me that he’s had a lifelong love affair with turning and described some of his accomplishments. He then astounded me by sharing his decades-old proven finish for his projects. He shared a new discovery because the dozens of articles read, YouTube videos watched, and on-line forums never discussed his process. I apologize that friendship trademarks
prevent me from sharing at this time. However, meet me for strawberry pie and tea at Judy's Café, and we can talk. The second unique discovery was when I met a fellow veteran at Judy's. We were both cops in the Air Force at close to the same time, but never stationed together. As we talked, over 22 years of service memories came back as clear as if were yesterday, rather than the late 90s. The real discovery was the number of people we both knew. It was through these mutual associations that our careers intersected, though not at the same time.
What a great week to reflect back on and appreciate the new discoveries that God permitted me. It was and has always been his purpose of creating us to appreciate God's creation in nature, and in our fellow human beings. Now I am excited to see what God will show me in the new week.
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable
things you do not know.”
May you be blessed by God’s word.