Today I drive south to northern Minnesota: Thief River Falls, near the headwaters of the Mississippi. Outside we have some snow cover, not enough but it's better than none. Once a month or so I drive down route 59 to TRF and preach for the Evangelical Free Church in town, while they search for a senior pastor.
I enjoy the drive: straight, partly wooded, on the edge of the prairie (as Garrison Keillor reminds us), and once in Minnesota lightly populated. Lancaster: 350 or so; Lake Bronson: 250 or so; Halma: 72; so that Karlstad at 800 seems quite big. there's even a traffic light, even if it's flashing red both ways. Finally Thief River, 70 miles from the border and 9,000 people, a northern metropolis some two hours south of me.
Lots of time to think and listen to the radio. CBC has Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap -- memories of a rocker with lots of music that I enjoy. NPR has Garrison Keillor, Car Talk, and Wait, Wait. Sometimes I may find football or basketball; less often I'll listen to news. But not so often for the news: a long drive doesn't need to be made longer thinking about Robert Mugabe, or the war in Iraq, or climate change (so that we have messy roads where we once had clear cold sky and clear dry roads).
Lots of time to think, so I can't help thinking about such things, wondering if Zimbabwe will ever see better times than now, or if we (Americans) will learn that there is no alternative to cooperation in today's world. All this thinking provides the context for running through the next day's sermon. So in a couple of hours I'll drive down 59 to the border post, hand them my (expired) passport (which I must renew), open the trunk for the routine check, and drive on down to TRF. I expect to enjoy the open silence (almost silence, except for the noise my car makes), and to seek God's hope in our humanness.