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Change of Gears

I learned to drive when I was ten.  Most fun was driving the standard shift of our 48 half ton grey Ford truck.  Let the clutch out slowly in first gear, speed up enough to clutch it smoothly into second gear, then again finally into the third gear. 

It was important too to know how to gear down on hills!  The most intriguing gear my dad called ‘Bull low’.  When hauling grain at harvest time or to the elevator in our little town of Davin, it was the gear to begin with.  A slow powerful gear.

I think I have used all those gears in my life especially during the past months adapting to a new way of being pastor in my parish.  It has been a formidable six months. 

Having spent the last six weeks soloing waiting for a new assistant, I’ve shifted through a number of gears as I finished with baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and a few funerals all delayed because of the pandemic. 

Then suddenly a long awaited respite— time for an annual retreat and holidays.  The question? What gear do I engage now? 

Sitting looking out at Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan, now also under the gaze of Our Lady of Lourdes only since last Sunday when Jeff Burwell and some people from Saskatchewan Beach perched the statue on a pedestal, coincidently on the same day my boyhood parish celebrated the annual pilgrimage to her shrine at St Pete’s , Kronau,

I wonder with her guidance I will figure out the proper gear for my retreat and holidays even while distracted by that pike leaping out of the water not once but twice.