Finding God

By Richard Gray, Director of Music

Ever since moving to Minnesota six years ago, I have discovered so many places to be with God. Yes, God is present everywhere, but how wonderful it is that each of us, based on how we feel, where we are, and what we see, can find God in each of our own unique ways. 

For me, one of those places in Minnesota is our beautiful North Shore. Any opportunity that arises for me to take some time and spend it up there, I take it. Starting with the drive itself, I anticipate the feeling of rest, recharge, and relaxation as I leave the abundant energy of the metro area and head north towards Duluth. I’ll look around at what nature has in store that day and think about how God’s presence and existence manifests in what is happening around me right then. 

I remember turning around that corner just short of Duluth and seeing Lake Superior for the first time. It is a moment I will truly never forget. Growing up on the East coast and right on the Atlantic Ocean, this was a completely different world I was seeing, and one that I didn’t know existed. There God was, in all God’s beauty as God’s water sparkled, shone, and flowed right in front of my eyes. 

Once I pass Duluth, the rest of the drive on the North Shore Scenic Highway isn’t a drive for me—it’s a retreat experience. Through the creation around me of hills, more water, trees, grass, and more, I catch myself getting glimpses of what heaven looks like. 

What complements all this for me on the North Shore, is the community and the people. These have been included in some of the most comforting and welcoming experiences I’ve known so far – the hospitality and friendliness of people at places like the Rustic Inn Cafe and the Lockport Marketplace in Lutsen – this is what it means to be a part of God’s community of people and living out God’s call to us. 

Finally, once settled in on the North Shore, I can’t help but keep having to remind myself that I’m here. I’ve made it. I’m in the heartbeat of God’s wonder and creation and how awesome that is. On my way up to Oberg Mountain, I talk to God and I thank God for these gifts that I see around me. This past winter when going up the mountain, I felt some of the most peaceful moments I have ever experienced in that deafening, haunting, but beautiful quietness. 

I write this for us at St. John’s because I am curious: where in Minnesota do you continue to see and find God in ways that are unique to you, and why?

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