Ahhhh . . . what a day! Once again I am writing today’s page as the day quickly slips away and will soon turn into tomorrow. 🙂 There was nothing specific on my schedule of responsibilities for today at the conference, so it looked to be a day of rest between teaching times. Breakfast was at 7:30 again this morning followed by a morning worship time. After the worship gathering, I thought I would come back to the room and take a nap. Once I got back here and laid down for a moment I realized it was Monday morning. So, I decided to skip the nap and spend time with God in my normal Monday morning routine of preparing the prayer guide for next week. The teaching of Jesus which says, “Blessed are those who mourn” has been heavy on my heart the past few weeks and I was drawn to the topic of blessings redefined. As I looked through my files, I found that I had done a two-week prayer guide on the Beatitudes previously but it has been over 3 years ago. As I thought about other topics, God kept bringing me back to this so I redid the topic with a new two-week series focused on seeing blessings from God’s perspective.
After the prayer guide was written for next week, it was time for lunch. I usually try to get to meal times early to get my food and then find a random place to sit by myself and see who God brings to me. Today was a couple campus ministers and a few students that sat with me and we had some good conversations about campus life, missions, and prayer. This went on for so long that the kitchen and clean-up workers came and took our trays and empty dishes so they could finish their jobs. Once lunch conversations were done, the entire afternoon was blocked out by the conference as “free time”. As I came back to the room, I had a huge debate with myself about whether I should take a nap or take a walk. The idea of a walk won out, so I grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and set off on a 6 mile round-trip hike on a trail between the campus and a city park. Last year I had seen some deer along this trail but today was mostly butterflies and birds. It was a good walk but I was completely drenched from the 90 degree temperature and what felt like 90 percent humidity by the time I was done. Tonight was dinner on our own, so after a shower I headed to town and had ice cream with a bacon cheeseburger as my side dish. 🙂
The evening worship session was good and as I was restocking my display before coming back to the room, I ended up having great conversations about prayer and developing a lifestyle of prayer with several different groups of students. The were so excited about what I had shared in the workshop yesterday and simply wanted to connect further with the story of God working in my life. Eventually, the building emptied out and I made it back to the room but the unplanned conversations were so much fun. One of the pictures I took during my walk this afternoon was of a fountain in the middle of a pond on the edge of campus. As the day went along, this photo reminds me of the springs of refreshing that God continues to provide to me and through me. Today feels like I am at least nearing full circle in this journey of prayer with this location being a turning point of sorts. It was eight years ago at this conference on this campus that it became apparent that my prayer ministry role with Impact Ministries International was coming to an end as the organization was in the beginning stages of some major restructuring. It was after leaving this conference in 2008 that I began to seek what was next and ended up in camp ministry which led to a maintenance director role which led back to Deer Run which led to a renewed focus on the prayer ministry which led me back to this conference which leads me to a greater pursuit of, and listening to, God.
I pray that you and I would pay attention to the people and circumstances that God brings into our lives. I pray that we would make the most of every opportunity that God gives us. I pray that we would notice the nudges of God’s Spirit within us and respond to them with full obedience.