This was the first year since I was eight that I have not made the trek up to Park Rapids with my family for deer opener. Needless to say, it was a strange experience. My dad and some of his college roommates own property just North of Park Rapids. These guys and their families have always been as close to me as family – if not closer. More than the crisp, crunchy sound of leaves beneath my feet while walking to my stand or the air-splitting sound of bullets fired, I missed the time with my “family”. Deer-opener just wasn’t the same.
Instead, I was stuck at home in Marshall…working. However, the weekend did hold many blessings.
Friday evening, I went with a few friends to the Hindi store downtown. I’d seen the shop before, but never realized that you could order a meal there. We walked in, smells of turmeric, ginger, and other spices mingled in an aromatic greeting. Laughter could be heard around the corner as a group of young men chatted away in an Arabic language. A man rose from the group. Smiling to silence his own laughter, and wiping his hands on his apron, he asked what he could do for us. My friend ordered us all gyros – and boy, were they delicious.
The store was cold, so our coats were kept on throughout dinner. As one friend picked at his gyro, our conversation trailed to “classic” American food. Mac ‘N Cheese, hotdish (or casserole – the one friend won’t eat it regardless of what you call it), and hotdogs. From there, it only got worse. What goes in a hotdog? Have you ever heard of blood sausage? What’s in blood sausage? You get the picture. Needless to say, none of us were interested in dessert. Nonetheless, the experience was priceless. The shop was a perfect reminder of why I love different cultures. The beauty of the nations is astounding.
Saturday evening, I had the opportunity to go with a few friends to Taken 2 at the theater. If you haven’t seen the original (and I highly suggest you do), you would be just as enthralled as we were. The film was fantastic – unpredictable plot, exciting ending.
Sunday morning was equally as wonderful. Church is quite often the highlight of my Sundays. The message on God’s timing was…perfectly timed. For lunch, I went with a fifth grader to El Rancho’s on East College Drive. And after work, I was able to go to the weekly worship service at the Campus Religious Center. I am so blessed by the people there and so honored to worship the Lord with them. Never do I walk away from God’s people without having seen Jesus living through them. The Holy Spirit is always active.
Although the weekend wasn’t quite the same, I was blessed in so many different ways. God is faithful.