2016: Page 56

The snow that filled up page 55 kept falling onto page 56 to start the day.  There was enough of it on yesterday’s page that nearly all of the area schools had made the announcement last night that there would be no school today.  That included Michiana Christian School and Sonshine Preschool, so it meant that I didn’t have to set the alarm to wake up at a specific time this morning.  I still find it funny when I wake up at 7:30 in the morning and think that I’ve “slept in”.  Once I was up and around, I went out and ran the snow blower on the drive at home as another 5 or 6 inches of snow had fallen overnight.  

When the snow finally quit falling I headed to work to clear the sidewalks and entryways of snow while the building was empty so I don’t have to get up early tomorrow to get it done.  It is also much easier to do before people start coming and going, packing down the snow with every footstep.  After running the snow blower for a while at work, it was time for lunch with my family before returning to work to finish up the tasks for the day.  The snow was wet and heavy, making even the snow blower grumble about having to move all of it.  The secret to getting the snow moved was having the patience to listen to the sound of the snow blower and not allow the engine speed to bog down.

I finished up my work for the day around 3 so I headed down to Potato Creek State Park with my cameras to take a stroll through the trails and capture some snowy scenes.  As I walked the trail, I would occasionally see a snow covered bench.  At each one, the first thought that came to mind was about it being a good place for someone to sit who just needed to “chill out”.  We all have times that we need such a bench, right?  James tells us that everyone should be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”

Sometimes we are in such a rush that our internal “engine” gets bogged down from trying to do too much too fast and we need to throttle back our speed and just “chill out”.  I don’t know what “chilling out” will look like for you, but I’m guessing it is not sitting on a snow covered bench.  For me, it usually has to do with grabbing my cameras and stepping away from the things that draw me into living life at a speed that is not healthy.  Even though it is a lot of work to hike 3 miles through 8 – 10 inches of snow, it is a relaxing work that allows me to spend time with God in the beauty of His creation.  It seems that every time I go out with my cameras, regardless of the weather, God uses the things that I hear and see to teach me more about the walk He desires for me to have with Him.  The physical benefits of walking and hiking can be great, but those benefits pale in comparison to the spiritual and emotional benefits of deliberately spending time with God.

I pray that you and I would recognize our need to have times when we “chill out”.  I pray that we would deliberately throttle back the speed of our life so that we can listen to God more carefully.  I pray that the times we spend “chilling out” with God would prepare us to move forward at just the right speed as we follow His lead in everything.

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