Not much to clear off the walks this morning but with a temp of 4 degrees and wind chills well into the negative numbers it was nice not to have to spend too much time outdoors. I write a weekly prayer guide that I publish online each Sunday and Monday is usually the day I write the prayer guide for the next week so that I’m not rushed and can spend adequate time in prayer putting it together. Today I was drawn to a passage from 2 Corinthians which lists six things the Christian should excel in. So, the next prayer guide published will focus on praying about the things we ought to excel in.
Sometimes I settle for “good enough” and lose sight of the fact that God wants me to not just get by, but to excel! To do something with excellence is not an easy thing. To be someone who excels in godly character qualities is much more difficult. Just as excelling in a sport or activity takes work and practice, excelling in the qualities that God wants in our life requires that we work at it with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
With the bitter cold, the birds would still visit outside my office window but stayed a little inside the tree line so as not to be fully exposed to the wind. It was still beautiful to watch the cardinals play and to even have a pair of bluebirds stop back by. I knew that today would be a busy day from start to finish so I called my mom last night to wish her a happy birthday. She and dad were enjoying a warm evening in sunny Florida.
As I thought about my parents vacationing in Florida, I carved an hour out of my schedule to head down to Potato Creek State Park to take some pictures and enjoy a short hike. Even in the cold of winter, God provided great beauty and peaceful surroundings to remind me of His presence. Winter hiking is tough because it is difficult to know exactly how to dress and how many layers are really needed. I found myself adjusting layers as I did the two miles so that I wasn’t cold, but so I wasn’t overly warm either. Once I found a good balance, my hike was enjoyable and the crispness of the air was refreshing. The beauty of the ice crystals and snowflakes against the backdrop of an ice-covered lake was amazing.
As I closed out the day at a church leadership meeting, I was reminded of how God uses such a diverse collection of gifts and abilities in a diverse group of people to accomplish His great purposes. Just as they say the snowflakes are each unique and special, so are you and I.