2016: Page 201

Page 201 began a bit slowly as the mind is still trying to reset from the emotional toll and exhaustion of last week.  With a little help, I can get about six hours of good sleep or six hours of productive work before the mind starts buzzing with a swirl of thoughts.  As the day began, I headed to the office where I spent some time planning and praying for the workshops I will lead later this month.  As I kept my mind focused on what God would want those workshops to contain, the first of five boxes of books arrived for the conference.  I was actually expecting all of them to arrive today, but after checking tracking numbers it appears this one was sent out a little ahead of the rest.  After looking through the printed books to make sure the layout and appearance was what I expected, I spent some time submitting completed files for both printed and Kindle editions of this latest book to be available on Amazon.

With a quick look at the weather forecast calling for increasing heat and increasing chances of rain the rest of the week, I headed up to camp for my weekly prayer walk while the conditions were a little more favorable than it looks like it will be the rest of the week.  After checking in at the camp office, I began my prayer time with a walk around the perimeter of the property as I have each week this summer — at least as much around the perimeter as the existing trails will allow. 🙂  Doing so allows me to pray a hedge of protection around those who serve in the various roles of camp ministry; from year-round staff to summer staff, from deans and faculty to volunteers in every capacity imaginable.  Once the perimeter is prayed over, I begin a random criss-crossing of the usable parts of the camp property praying for the activities that typically take place in each area.  As I walk and pray, I also take pictures of things that catch my eye as prayer-prompts so I can share them later with others who are praying for the camp and would benefit from some visuals.  After lunch at the camp, I repeated the prayer walk process in the afternoon.  In the middle of the afternoon my mind began to swirl into the haze that this past week has brought about.  As I walked and prayed, I kept thinking about how nice it would be to see something special.  I’ve heard that there have been owls seen on the property, so I found myself asking God if I could see one to photograph as an encouragement to me during my prayer walk.  As I scoured the trees for any sign of this special visitor, it was as if I heard a voice in my head asking, “Why are you searching for lesser things when you already have the greater things?”.  Here I was spending the day in prayer, seeking and basking in the very presence of God all around me, and I somehow thought an owl would make His presence more real?  

But life is often like that, isn’t it?  We have access to the very presence of God through our prayers and petitions that we offer in humility and worship, yet somehow we think we need more.  And the “more” we think we need isn’t really more at all, but instead it is a personal collection of “lesser things”.  For most of us, the lesser things that we desire aren’t usually bad in and of themselves — at least not until we develop a greater desire for them than we have for seeking and knowing the presence of God in our life.  Perhaps some of our desire for lesser things comes from our human uncertainty.  If I say I encountered an owl during my walk, and especially if I have a picture of it, everyone knows what I’m talking about and has a similar image in mind.  However, if I say I walked with God and encountered His presence during my prayer time, people begin to give me strange looks and want some type of explanation that assures them I’m not weird or off my rocker.  Yet I want a life that is not satisfied with the lesser things when the One of greatest importance has called me to Himself and desires a personal relationship with me.

I pray that you and I would evaluate what it is we are pursuing most in our life.  I pray that we would identify the “lesser things” that tend to draw our attention away from the “greater things”.  I pray that nothing would ever be more important to us than not only living in the presence of God, but in having His presence living in us through His Spirit.

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