2016: Page 115

Page 115 was a quiet day of rest and reflection.  I did not take any new photos today, so the ones attached are from yesterday . . . but I’ll get to that later. 🙂  I spent this morning with my family, and church family, in Bible study and worship.  The Sunday morning Bible study class that I’m a part of is still going through the book of Proverbs and gleaning much wisdom to learn and apply.  Our preacher is in the midst of a series through the Sermon on the Mount and today’s message was about “Doing Right . . . The Right Way”.  We heard from the teachings of Jesus about giving the right way, praying the right way, and listening to God the right way.  At the heart of each of these spiritual activities is the need to keep the focus on God and not make them about ourselves.

After our church worship gathering, we had lunch and then I began going through the 750+ photos I took during our Friday afternoon and Saturday family adventure.  The photos I’ve included on this page were taken yesterday when we stopped at Sleeping Bear Dunes in Northern Michigan looking for the best vantage point to view and photograph a couple lighthouses that are offshore from the mainland.  We had to walk over sand dunes and and up a rather steep trail to find the views we were looking for.  While MJ and I enjoy taking photographs of the incredible beauty of God’s creation, Susan simply enjoys being with us out in the sunshine.  To walk hand-in-hand with her over the sand dune hills, or see her put great effort into hiking up a trail, and in all of it watch the great joy expressed on her face, I know that the time we spend together as a family is a valuable treasure.

There have been times in my life when I’ve allowed various things to keep me from enjoying the time with my family that I believe God has brought us together for.  Sometimes it has been my decisions and priorities that have kept me too busy and other times it has been the expectations of others in work and ministry.  I think it is far too easy to believe that there will always be a tomorrow with the family but if I don’t jump at every expectation of my workplace, there may not be a tomorrow at work.  My work at camp was like that and eventually taught me a lesson of setting limits that I’ve learned to apply to my work at Deer Run now.  Susan’s health, particularly the frequent seizures, remind me often that she is God’s gift on loan to us for an unspecified amount of time.  I have a cousin — actually my wife has a cousin but I claim her as well — who has been battling cancer for a long time but has reached the point where it seems the battle may be nearing an end and her life also reminds me that each of our lives are but a vapor and we should make the most of every opportunity we have.  

That is my lesson I share today — give the greatest value to the things that are the most important and the things that are the most important aren’t things at all, but they are the people God has allowed to be a part of your life and you a part of theirs.

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