Page 230 began with the usual weekday cleaning and building prep tasks that start most of my mornings. My truck had picked up a strange shimmy or vibration during my recent trip to share at a student conference, so once the building was ready for the day I took my truck to the shop for some service and “shimmy” diagnostics. After dropping the truck off, I set out on foot with a loop up and around the East Race as I walked back to work. One of my stops every time I walk this route is at a memorial set up to remember firefighters who have lost their lives serving their community. I stop, not because I know any of the names on the memorial, but because I know a current firefighter and this place is a good reminder for me to pray for him and his coworkers. While there, I do pray for the families of those who died in the line of duty as well as for the friends and family who send a loved one out on a regular basis to protect life and property.
The walk back to work ended up being a little over 5 miles so it felt good to sit at my desk and finish up the missions correspondence work I began yesterday. I worked through lunch and as the afternoon slipped away, I got a call that the “shimmy” I had been feeling was caused by a broken/separated tread in a front tire. I had thought it felt like the tire was out of round, so I guess the washout I hit while driving to the conference a couple weeks ago was a little hard on a tire. 🙂 They couldn’t get a matching tire until tomorrow, so they said they would put my spare on and finish up the oil change so I could pick the truck up by late afternoon. It was still a decent enough weather day outside so once I finished up my work I headed out to walk back to the repair shop. The afternoon walk definitely worked up a sweat a lot sooner than the early morning one did, but it felt good to stretch some muscles and spend time in prayer as I walked along the river with all of its incredible beauty.
As I think about the day, my mind returns to the photo of the day and its reminder that we need to pray for those who serve. Serving is rarely popular or easy, but it ought to be the heartbeat of every follower of Jesus. One of my current writing projects is a devotional series that I’ve called “Devotions for Those Who Serve”. One of my concerns with the title is that many people will pay no attention to it because they don’t think it is written for them. In order to address that misconception, I’m giving serious thought to a cover that says, “Devotions for Those Who Serve (Yes, that ought to be you!)”. When we accept that we are all called to serve, it shouldn’t take long to realize the importance of praying for everyone. We need men and women who serve as police officers, firefighters, medical workers, teachers, bus drivers, etc. and we need to value the work they do. But more importantly, we need men and women who serve Jesus in each and every occupation imaginable. We serve Jesus when we imitate His example and follow His command to serve one another without partiality.
I pray that you and I would honor those who serve well and pray for those whose service to others puts them in danger on a regular basis. I pray that we would understand that serving is not optional in the Christian life, but mandatory for all who would claim to follow Jesus. I pray that we would pay attention to our own life and to those around us for signs that things aren’t what they should be. I pray that we would seek God’s help when we feel the “shimmy” of a life out of balance. I pray that we would point people to Jesus when their life seems to be out of line.