The written part of page 81 is being typed from my office before I head home for the day. The day started early and is ending late, but I did manage a short break in the middle. After the morning cleaning and prep for the day, I settled into my Monday morning routine and spent time with God putting together the prayer guide for next week. This week is focused on praying about the need to guard our steps. Next week will be focused on praying about the life we have in Christ. It is always fun when I think I have an idea for one of the weekly prayer guides and when I sit down with God and my Bible, something different ends up being written. Today was one of those days and the funny part is, I don’t even remember now what my idea was before God brought the life in Christ theme into my mind.
Once the prayer guide was written, I needed to pick up some cleaning supplies and some items for a meal I was preparing for our leadership board meeting. So Susan and I spent some time together and went out to Gordon’s Food Service and Sam’s Club to get what was needed. By the time we got what was needed and arrived back at the church, I had a discipleship/mentoring lunch appointment with a good friend. We had lunch and a great discussion about faith and how it should guide our decisions and steps each day. After lunch I finished up some work at the church building and then, knowing it would be a late night, I headed down to Potato Creek to spend about an hour hiking and taking pictures. On my way back from there, I stopped by the house and picked up the crock pot of pulled pork that I had spent Saturday cooking on the wood pellet grill. Back at the office I caught up on some correspondence regarding the prayer ministry and some potential uses of the writing God has allowed me to publish. It wasn’t long before it was time to get ready for the board meeting, so I set out the food on the conference table and gathered the needed plates, napkins, and plastic ware.
The meeting went well enough . . . as meetings go. 🙂 This is a great group of guys to work and serve with. Once the meeting was over, I decided it was late enough that I may as well do my Tuesday morning cleaning tonight so that my arrival time tomorrow isn’t nearly as important. As I cleaned, I thought about all the work that goes into what happens at 2730 South Ironwood each day. I thought about our desire to do everything with excellence and considered how often we (I) don’t quite reach that standard. So often it is “almost perfect”, or “that’s almost what I wanted”. I see that a lot in my photography as well. Occasionally I will take a picture that when I view it I say, “That’s exactly what I had in mind when I shot that photo!” More often than not the reaction leans more toward, “That is almost what I thought it would look like.” The photo I share on today’s page is an example of that. I was shooting with two cameras and as I was adjusting one, I looked up and an osprey was coming into the nest with a fish clutched in its claws. I’m shooting with an extended zoom which is difficult to keep steady but I go ahead and take the shot only to see after the fact that I almost got the shot I wanted, but not quite. I know it’s a fish in its claws because I was there, but most of the fish didn’t make it into the photo. I could have deleted the photo but decided that even though it isn’t perfect, it still captures a great deal of the detail I wanted.
Sometimes it is easy for us to get into a perfectionist mode with not only our self, but with other people as well. None of us are perfect (I know, big surprise.), but often we act like the people around us ought to be. Sometimes all we seem to be able to see are the imperfections in people when God wants us to look at the whole person and see the beauty and detail He has created. When the picture of our life is flawed it doesn’t mean we’ve failed, it only means we’re human. God is very good at taking flawed lives and using them for incredible good.
I pray that you and I would consider the excellent nature of God within us the next time we look at ourselves or others and think, “That’s not what I wanted.” I pray that when our eyes drift toward the imperfections, we would look carefully at the beauty God has put within each person. I pray that we would be filled with the grace and mercy that comes from God, even as we seek to do all things with excellence.