Page 158 was back to work following a great vacation. With school being out for the summer, I was able to get right to my typical Monday morning task of spending time with God as we put together the next week’s prayer guide. As I prayed about potential topics, the focus of standing firm seemed to be the direction I needed to go in my writing. Sometimes we become that double-minded person that James writes about and we find ourselves tossed about from one wave of life to the next because we have not fully equipped our self with the armor of God and then stood firm after having done that. Once the prayer guide was written, I took advantage of a quiet day in the building to put some more work in on the devotional journal book I am writing for a student conference this summer. Once I got going with the rhythm of writing, I kept at it right through lunch until it was time to head home for the day. I am always fascinated when there are people who are excited to use the resources God has entrusted me to write.
I finished up the day with a family trip to The Chief in Goshen for ice cream and then a stop a Sam’s Club for some groceries. The Chief is a great little ice cream shop and every time I am there I am intrigued by the intersection that it is on. Three of the corners of this intersection contain a parking lot next to a fitness center, a ball field and playground, and a cycling and fitness store. The fourth corner is the ice cream shop. Guess which corner has always had the most business every time I have been there! Yep, ice cream wins every time!
As I reflected on the day, I chose a photo of a bumblebee that I took yesterday to be the photo for today’s page. This bee was hard at work collecting pollen and nectar and whatever else he was after from the blue baptisia plants that were blooming along the riverwalk. Not only do I love watching how creation works together, I enjoy close-up photography where I can capture the intricate detail of things like this bee. Many times we prefer to take the easy route — to choose the ice cream corner over the corners that require effort and self-discipline. We know, or have a good idea, of things God wants us to do but they all require work so we look for an easier path. Sometimes we play at the work God sets before us because we can’t see how it accomplishes a greater purpose — or often more accurately, we can’t see how it benefits us. As one who likes to have all my ducks in a row . . . all my t’s crossed and i’s dotted before I begin a task, sometimes I just need to step in and get started because I know it is the work God has called me to. The Bible says that to know the good I ought to do and not do it, for me that is sin. I don’t think God is simply talking about good versus evil. I believe He is referring to the good works He created in advance for us to do. Once we know what those are, it is our responsibility to do them regardless of whether or not we’ve figured out how if fits into the bigger picture of the kingdom.
I pray that you and I would consistently spend time with God as we do the work that He sets before us. I pray that we would be self-disciplined enough that we do our work with all our might rather than seeking an easy way out. I pray that our efforts for the kingdom of God would all be done our of a faithful response to His will rather than a seeking of personal benefit. I pray that we would trust God with the fuller picture that only He can see as we do the work He has placed before us.