2016: Page 213

Page 213 has been a wonderful day at the National Student Conference but I’ve discovered that they plan the schedule for people much younger than I am. 🙂  Breakfast was at 7:30 this morning and here I am writing today’s page as the day slips away.  Following a great breakfast, we had a time of morning worship before I was scheduled to teach my first workshop of the day.  With a limited number of students and multiple workshops for them to choose from, I had planned what I thought was optimistically for 30 people for each of my workshop sessions.  With teaching today’s session on Developing a Lifestyle of Prayer Through Listening twice, I had brought 60 copies of the handout to split between the two times.  God had other plans.  My first session was a packed room with people sitting on the floor around the perimeter of the room so they could get in.  All 60 of my handouts were distributed with a number of people sharing and/or giving theirs up to those that wanted one.  I was overwhelmed, in a good way, to say the least.  I decided with that many showing up for the first of the two sessions, there probably wouldn’t be much interest in it the second time it was offered this afternoon.  Nonetheless, I wanted to be prepared so I headed to Office Depot right after lunch and had another 60 copies printed and 30 more copies of the handout for my other workshop so I would also start with 60 of those.  When I got back, I went to my workshop room to spend some time praying about what God would want me to learn from the earlier workshop and listen for if there was anything He wanted me to do differently.  The afternoon workshop was following a break in the schedule so I reasoned that was part of why so many came in the morning — they were planning on extending their break into the first afternoon workshop time slot.  And so, as I was praying and preparing, people began drifting in.  A few here, and then a few more, and slowly a couple rows filled up.  With about five minutes before the scheduled start, there were only a handful of seats left.  By the time all the seats were taken I thought I ought to let them know that this was a repeated workshop from the morning and if they thought it was part two they may want to find another workshop.  No one left and a few more came in and, as in the morning session, sat on the floor!

All I could do as I began the workshop was to silently pray, “Yeah God!!”, for His work in developing a desire in so many students to learn about developing a lifestyle of prayer.  And all day since, God has encouraged me through the words of so many who would stop me in the hallways, meal lines, outside, or wherever I would be just to thank me for sharing what God had given me about prayer.  After the workshop, I got ready for dinner and after I had eaten I took a walk around part of the campus to spend time thanking God and worshiping Him.  As I walked, I went by what the campus labels their “Reflection Pond” and it was living up to its name as the sun began to sink toward the horizon.  While the sun was up enough that it was still very bright, it also presented itself with a “sun dog” on either side.  The one to my right was most visible and I didn’t really notice the one on the left until I had downloaded today’s photo onto my computer.  As I “reflected” on the day and on this photo, I thought about how often I see God at work doing something in and/or through me that is fairly noticeable yet realize later that He was doing much more than I first thought.  As I shared with the conference last night, God tends to work “multi-dimensionally”, in that there is often a part of His work we recognize and a part of His working in the same circumstances that we don’t notice right away and may  never notice.  Tomorrow’s another early day and today is nearly slipping into tomorrow so I guess I’ve written enough words for now.

I pray that you and I would leave room in our plans for God to surprise us in good ways.  I pray that we would learn to listen, both to God and to other people, with our whole being.  I pray that we would not confine the work of God to what we can see with our own eyes.  I pray that we would allow for the mystery of God to both be present in our lives and to be revealed in us when He chooses. 

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