Sometimes life just flies up in your face and all you can do is take cover until the storm passes over. Page 203 was a productive day overall that I had planned to be even more productive than it was. The morning was spent with a few office tasks and then it was outside to finish mowing in the cool of the day (meaning it hadn’t reached the 90 degree mark yet.). As I mowed, I prayed about the constant eroding of integrity that takes place. People saying one thing, making a commitment based on certain criteria, and yet using their position to make what they want happen regardless of their previous pledge. I can only pray about that for so long before I start to get angry, so most of my mowing time was spent praying for a spirit of peace to be upon some specific families I’ve been praying for, upon the church, and upon our nation.
I finished the mowing around noon and came in to cool down and re-hydrate before going back out to run the weadeater and do some trimming. While cooling down, I wrote another week’s devotions for the “Devotions For Those Who Serve” series. I skipped ahead to the end one in my current series outline which is about serving as you go. It is one thing to serve at a place that is set up to facilitate service to others, the goal of those times always ought to be to prepare people to serve everywhere they go. Once I was cool, hydrated, and finished with the writing, I headed back out into the heat to finish the outside work. As I was nearing completion, a light drizzle began to fall and it felt pretty good so I kept on with the weed trimming. By the time I had gotten away from the building, the sky opened up and I was doused by a sudden downpour of rain. At the same time, my weedeater quit running and wouldn’t restart, so I decided it must be time to go in.
Once inside, I learned that the classroom floors had finally been scrubbed clean and ready for new floor finish to be applied. As I had not yet had lunch, my plan was to get some lunch and then rest for a while before coming back and finishing the floors through the night. After a stop for lunch, I decided part of my rest time would include a trip to Potato Creek to photograph the storm coming over the lake. By the time I got there, the storm had passed and I ended up with visits from two adult bald eagles and one of their young. There were also a number of heron active in the post-storm coolness so I got quite a few photos of birds in flight. After I was finished there, I stopped at home to take a quick nap, knowing that it was going to be a long night before the floors were done. I laid down on the couch sometime around 7 – 7:30 in the evening and when I woke up at 1:30 AM, I decided the floors (and the writing of the day’s page) would have to wait. I got up and went to bed where I slept until 7:30 this morning — thus page 203 being written at the beginning of page 204. 🙂
As I thought about the day, my mind considered how often we plot and plan and put all of our effort into making our plans succeed and then dust the entire process with a coating of “spirituality” and try to pass it off as a godly endeavor. At least in my life, many times we “hit the wall” because our efforts are never enough — especially when they are being expended in an area that God is not directing. The proverbial wall is one means that God uses to get our attention and tries to create a pause before we move forward with a bad plan. Too often, instead of turning to God during that pause, we use the time to create an even worse plan because our pride will not allow us to admit we were wrong. I was set on getting those floors finished last night but by “hitting the wall”, God gave me a time of much needed rest instead of a night that would have added to an already fatigued mind and spirit. This morning, my mind is still troubled but my body is in a much fresher condition to do the work that needs done.
I pray that you and I would be people of integrity even when it requires us to swallow our pride and perhaps even look foolish to those who don’t understand the value of integrity. I pray that we would look for, and listen to, the lessons from God regarding the times when He calls for us to “come aside and rest”. I pray that the turmoil of life would never appear greater than the peace that God offers — because it isn’t.