The following is taken from a book of short stories about life in ministry, The Good News from New Haven, by Michael Lindvall (Doubleday, 1991). The tales of this fictional town in western Minnesota (where Mike grew up) reflect deep realities with which most pastors will readily identify.
The coming of our fourth winter in North Haven has been for me like a clock striking the hour. One, two, and three made a set, a time-trinity, but this fourth has drifted upon me whispering: "Long time, now, long time."
This mood also has something to do with having turned 40 in the fall. My thirties, I argued, were "mature youth." The actuarial tables gave more distance ahead of me than behind. But forty is most likely halfway home, give or take a few years. Forty is second base: the pitcher is lined right up with home plate. One base behind, one base ahead.
It is a perch from which one is inclined to do some reconnoitering. Forty years lived and four of them in this one place, and what difference has it ...1