Page 123 started the work week off with an early morning to get the building ready for the school week. After the normal Monday morning cleaning and building prep tasks, I settled into some prayer time and writing as the weather was not favorable to outside work. In spending time with God, we prepared the prayer guide for next week that will be focused on the gentleness that is a part of the fruit of God’s Spirit. When it was completed, I spent some time working on writing more of the devotional pages for the “Devotions For Those Who Serve” series I am working on. I now have 8 weeks of devotional material written for what is currently a planned 13 week series.
As is often the case when I get into a “writing zone” with God, time just slipped away and before I knew it 2:30 had arrived and I had been at work for 8 hours before realizing that lunch was probably overdue. With a meeting scheduled for the evening, I headed to a late lunch then went down to the riverwalk in Mishawaka to spend some time with God taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of nature even under a cloud-filled sky. One of the first sights when I arrived was a goose who was paying an incredible amount of attention to its reflection. A couple weeks ago a goose, likely the same goose, in this spot was attacking the visible reflection but today it seemed like they had decided to get along.
As I thought about that goose, my mind began to reflect on the passage from James where God says that if we hear His Word but choose not to do what it says, we are like a person who looks into a mirror and walks away forgetting, and not doing anything about, what we observed. When this goose first looked into the mirror weeks ago it saw a rival, or perhaps a threat to its mate who was on a nest of eggs nearby. But whether it was a hatching of the eggs or a familiarity with the recurring reflection, somewhere along the line the goose became more comfortable with the presence of this “intruder” and no longer made any attempt to chase it away. How often do we see something that we initially recognize as danger but when we don’t remove it completely from our presence, or remove ourselves from its presence, we became accustomed to it and then eventually accepting of it?
Do we avoid looking intently into the perfect law of God’s Word because we don’t want to be convicted of changes we ought to be making in our life? When we gaze into the mirror of God’s Word, do we like what it reveals about us? Does what we see seem so threatening that we don’t even realize it is a reflection of who we really are? The mirror of God’s Word can reveal even the parts of our life that we think are well hidden. When it does so, we are left with a choice about how we will respond to the truth that God’s Word contains. Today’s time with God was a struggle for me. Not that it was difficult to spend time with God, but that it seemed to reveal a sadness within me that made me feel all alone. As I walked through the park in the midst of God’s beauty and creativity, questions of worth and purpose began to flood my mind. I began to wonder, is it my reflection that I don’t like or is it something more sinister? Am I accomplishing the purpose in life God created for me? Am I being faithful in being who God wants me to be? Am I doing the things I should be doing? These are questions I struggle with more often than not. While there are many times that I want to hide this questioning side of my life, I’ve come to believe they are actually good questions that are not only helpful to me but also helpful for others to know that they are not alone in their questioning.
I pray that you and I would pay attention to the reflection we see when we gaze into God’s Word. I pray that we would make the necessary changes in our lives that such a reflection would indicate needs made. I pray that we would realize we never walk alone, even and especially in our times of discouragement and doubt. I pray that we would realize God’s great love for us that He would call us His children.