Saturday, May 9, 2009

Whew !!!

Finally home after finishing my third half marathon in four weeks. Fargo was cold and windy, but an hour in the sauna tonight should take care of the cold part and perhaps will loosen some sore and tight muscles. The fans lining the racecourse were the best of may race I have been in but Twin Cities. Old and young alike giving encouragement to total strangers. And it didn't matter to me that they were total strangers--the encouraging words helped to propel me on toward the finish inside the FargoDome.

I wonder whether there is something to that whole encouragement thing?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Usually I think of Christmas when I hear/read that phrase, but here in Minnesota, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. It has been mostly sunny for several days; the temps are consistently in the high 60's; it has rained a little; and all of the trees are leafing out. It is the time of year that makes us forget about the long winter just passed, the bitter cold, and wearing 17 layers of clothing. Thoughts now turn to fishing, boating, camping, cookouts, bonfires, and vegetable gardens. I am often amazed at how quickly a change in perspective creates a fresh, new, vibrant attitude.

At church last Sunday our pastor offered some helpful perspective. We are in the midst of a series looking at Biblical principles to help us thrive in our current national crisis--as well as other crises that we will encounter. The most memorable thing he said was that for most of us the current crisis is not one of life and death, but is instead a balancing of wants and needs. My family's own experience of job-related "crisis" is exactly that--not a struggle for survival, but a re-ordering of priorities so that we can live within substantially more limited means.

I have a better sense (although not nearly as much as others I know) of what it is like to be forced to choose what bills can be paid now and which will need to wait for a few days. Looking for ways to save a few dollars because a "few dollars" means something more than it did a few weeks ago. Of having to say "No" to good things for the kids that I would have said "Yes" to not so long ago. Yet with all of this, I am reminded that what is at stake in my "crisis" is so much less than what is at stake for other people in my state, and town, and even neighborhood. So I remain thankful and can truly say that this is the most wonderful time of the year.

Press On!