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From our Pastor

 
Everyone has a favorite season of the year. Mine is really the fall although some like the summer and others will even claim winter is their favorite. My least favorite season is that change over from late winter to early spring. On the farm it was that time when the weather was beginning to warm up a little and the frost was slowly, ever so slowly, melting out of the ground and the mud seemed to just suck you down so that every step was laborious. Add to that the fact that winter just never seemed to want to let go so you were always stuck in that limbo land of snow and ice in the midst of days where it was warm and pleasant. Just when you thought that winter was finally over there would be a big blizzard just to let you know it wasn’t finished yet. And it was never certain no matter how late in the year just when winter would finally let go. In 2012 while we were still living in Garner, I was misled to think that winter was over and done with after a couple weeks of really nice weather and then on May 5th we had a blizzard of 12 inches of snow in the ground. And not just that it was snow but it was the heaviest, wettest snow I can ever remember. People all over were having difficulty moving it because it wouldn’t blow for the snow blowers, it was too deep and heavy to just scoop it off. In short it was hard work scooping it in addition that it was also the fifth of May for crying out loud. But that year, like every other year, winter did manage to yield to the warming sun of spring and eventually we did hit the days of warmth and green again for the summer.

It may seem odd to you but I am having that same type of feeling this year only it has nothing to do with the weather. This last year has been way too long for me. Although it is great to begin to see people returning to church after such a long period of no attendance due to the pandemic, it still seems like that old curse just can’t let go. I am confident that the days are getting here when this pandemic shut-down will fall into the pages of the history books, but it seems it just won’t let go easily and let us get on with our lives and return to normal again. But then again, I have to ask myself just what is normal anyway.

Every year on the farm was different from those before. Yes, there was the usual routines of preparing the fields for planting and cultivating, baling the hay, walking the beans, mowing pastures and such. However, no two years ran the same way, the rains came in differing times and amounts over the year. Anyone remember the 1993 floods? We took a trip to the Black Hills that year with the church youth group and had a terrible time getting to see any of the sights because that particular year they had only had ten days of sunshine and no cloud cover over the summer. We did manage to see Mt. Rushmore for about fifteen minutes before the clouds again covered it up. I also remember the years when the rains just could seem to come. One year we had had a good season and everything looked wonderful until August. That month we gained a total of a quarter of an inch of rain for the entire month. I remember one farmer telling me that had the rain came like it should have. He would have had a bumper crop of soy beans. However, because of the lack of rain the beans were more like little BB’s because of the lack of rain in August and the yield was then much worse than anticipated.

Regardless of whether the winter snow kept coming in May or the rains didn’t hit throughout August or whatever befell us we didn’t complain that life wasn’t what we expected based on the past. We would move forward into the future with the expectation that whatever hit, we would take it on as best we could and get through it. Each day, each week, each season is new for us. We have renewed opportunities to march into life with a sense of confidence and anticipation even when that future doesn’t seem to cooperate with us much. And yet, God is still with us and still presents new doorways to walk through as we grow and live in the Spirit. Although ‘normal’ may not be something we can yet count on, we can count on the fact that regardless of what is ahead we know we can do more than just endure. We can flourish and grow because even in the new day God is still a part of it and opens new life to be lived, even though the old just doesn’t seem to let go yet.
 
In Christ’s love,
 
Pastor Paul






 
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