Leave it to Stephen/Stephen Anderson

Government has lost all ability to compromise and the blame game is getting sickening, but I’m not going to let puke-worthy partisan politics sequester my joy. There’s too many other much more pleasant things to focus on this weekend.

Starting with the CopperDog 150.

I’ve had the privilege of writing weekly behind-the-scenes articles about the sled dog race, and it’s been enlightening to learn and inform others about what I think is the perfect example of a true Copper Country event.

It’s only in its fourth year, but the weekend full of festivities already has a well-refined niche, much like Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival. There are very few events that can galvanize a community the way CopperDog and Carnival can.

Both events break up the monotony of the seemingly endless winter while celebrating the very thing – snow – that, if dealt with alone can cause depression and cabin fever. Staying inside all winter long can be a maddening experience, but there’s something refreshing about enjoying the outdoors, and doing so with others brings a true sense of community vitality.

You may have already missed Friday night’s unbelievable CopperDog start in downtown Calumet, but today and Sunday are both filled with race-related activities. Check them out at copperdog150.com, and check back to The Daily Mining Gazette Monday for my extensive coverage from throughout the weekend.

Even after the CopperDog ends, though, there’s no need to settle back into a funk. After all, now that March is here, spring can’t be that far off. Having lived in the Copper Country my entire life, I still fully expect another winter storm or two (or three or four), but that’s bearable. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel … or at least on the horizon a little earlier each morning and later each evening!

As a Christian, this is also one of my favorite times of the year with Easter only a few weeks away. I celebrate Jesus’ death and bodily resurrection year-round, but a holiday such as Easter opens avenues to communicate that truth, its historical evidence and its experiential relevance in my life.

Certainly government can chip away at my happiness from time to time – who isn’t frustrated with the empty promises and child-like bickering? – but no sequestration, or fiscal cliff, or any other mess Congress can conjure up, can shake a joy that surpasses this world, a joy that can only come from God.

Forgive my preachy tone, but it’s that overflowing joy from within that makes my heart long to reach out and spark a genuine revival in the Copper Country. I get goosebumps when I think about what that could look like, the love of Christ embodied to such a degree that not even the staunchest skeptic could deny its power.

You see, my faith isn’t an empty religion. It’s a fulfilling relationship. The difference there is profound. Certain religious practices enhance that relationship. Just like a weekly date night can enhance my marriage, a weekly visit to church can put a spark back in my relationship with God.

In any case, whatever your religious leaning, I think we can all agree this world is messed up. Happiness is fleeting. Fun times come and go. The government will keep trying to fix things, and usually make them worse. I’m just thankful for a joy that can withstand all that. Now, enjoy the rest of the CopperDog, enjoy the arrival of spring and have a blessed joy-filled Easter.