Winter took its time in arriving but now it seems like it just doesn’t want to let go. With light snow overnight again, it was in to work early to make sure the sidewalks were in good shape for the day. While the temperature dropping into the teens made for a chilly start to the outside work, the cardinals were awake early and the sound of their morning song added to the beauty of the crisp snow-covered ground. While it was still too dark to see them, their songs filled the air.
After the early morning inside and outside work was completed, my IT hat was needed for a short time as a class was having trouble connecting to the internet. Eventually I was able to settle in with my writing hat and continue work on the “Devotions For Those Who Serve” series. By mid-afternoon I had another week of devotions written and needed a break so I headed down to Potato Creek once again to take a couple mile hike before returning to work to clean the building for the weekend. The hike was peaceful and before returning to my truck I started down to the lake to see if any of the eagles were nearby. On my way there, I could hear the sound of something nearby. After tracking the sound, I discovered a squirrel happily munching on a walnut with no apparent concern that I was watching it. As I’m snapping some photos of it, out of the corner of my eye I see one of the eagles take off from a nearby tree and head into the distance. While I missed this opportunity to photograph the eagle again, I did get some close-ups of the squirrel. It made me start to think about how I decide if something is a distraction or simply a re-direction.
I eventually made it back to work and as I cleaned the building slowly cleared out and I finished my workday cleaning and praying in the peaceful quietness of an empty building. This gave me time to reflect on the day and on the lessons God has been trying to teach me. Sometimes I get so busy with the tasks at hand that it is easy to miss the beauty that God surrounds me with. The sounds of the early morning cardinals were just the beginning of their presence throughout my day. As I worked, they would perch outside my window and sing their songs that filled the air with joy. Not only is it important that I pay attention to the beauty of God’s presence, I also need to keep focused on Him. It is easy to get so focused on what I want that God’s attempts to redirect me into His will can seem like an unwanted distraction. On the other hand, the things that I allow to redirect me could actually be distractions to keep me from pursuing God’s best for my life. The only real way to know is to constantly seek God and listen for His voice as the voice of my Shepherd that I recognize because it is familiar and filled with love for me.
I pray that you and I would always be mindful of the beauty of God’s presence that He continually reveals to us. I pray that we would spend so much time with God through prayer and His Word that we would know the difference between the distractions of the enemy and the redirection of God.