The other night, can’t remember whether I was in Baker or Glendive, I asking God to help me pull together the various strands of my life these days. Almost like Tibetan prayer flags I see all these parts of my life flapping in the breeze. I am hoping it is the wind of the Holy Spirit that causes them all to wave and not just my occasionally exhausted sighs. There are the trips between Baker and Glendive every week and this week an extra trip down and back. The more frequent the trips the shorter the trip seems to be. To look out across the prairies where the blue sky and mild temperatures have lingered much longer than I had any right to hope is wonderful. Our family once had a friend who was a mailman, carried letters in town. He said Mailmen were like sheep herders because they spend so much time alone they get ‘funny in the head’. Well I am not herding sheep, but I can see where one does become ones’s own company when you are alone a lot. There is a tendency to pull away from the crowd, not because you dislike people, but because you enjoy your own company more.
It has been interesting to watch myself begin to reassume that role of leadership in the church once again and then other days just as quickly throw it off and say, no, no, no. Help ‘yes’, take over ‘no’. Good lesson on how easy it is to slip back into old habits.
Seeing that I really have a place in my heart for rural ministry. I love the small church, the wind-swept cemetery, the folks with the squinty eyes from days of peering into the sun and looking long distances whether it is on horseback or in a pickup. I love the stories of the people I have buried. I will have been here five Sundays and by Saturday will have buried five people, none of whom I know. But they each have a story their friends tell and the stories are of remarkable people.
The election has been a turning point in civic life. I am working hard to speak out when confronted and not being afraid to have an opinion. To confront and/or challenge with respect, but firmness in my own rights. I have connected more closely with a couple of young women who are very political, well-educated, with families, who see the need to be really present where and when we can. They are both raising daughters and they want them to be independent and capable and not afraid.
I want the political parties to stop asking me for contributions and instead spend some time focusing on issues throughout the country, but also in Eastern Montana. Parties who do not listen to the people or at least visit the area cannot expect to win. Every interest needs the support of their respective parties.
In the next couple months I have to decide if I am going to run for the city council post I am filling. Part of me says ‘don’t bother’ and the other says ‘give it a shot.’ We’ll see which side wins.
These and other prayer flags are out there flapping in the wind. Not sure where I am going with all these loose ends, but it really is rather fun wondering. And since no decision is earth-shattering it doesn’t matter a whole lot what I do as long as I am caring and useful to my fellow humans. A blessed Thanksgiving to one and all. God is good, all the time.