2016: Page 253

Page 253 is a Friday which means a long, multi-shift day.  It seems like I finally slept soundly last night which has helped as I’ve gone through today.  I was up and running a little bit late but still made it to work by 6:30 AM to begin the cleaning and building prep for the day.  I had most of the cleaning done and was getting ready to collect trash and take it out when I found out a one-hour delay had been called for the school.  I guess it is better to have everything ready with an hour to spare than to not be finished in time.  With the building ready for the day, I headed out into the damp, foggy air to begin mowing even before daylight arrived.  With the rainy day and funeral yesterday, all of the lawn needed mowed today so it was important to get started if I was going to finish the mowing before it was time for the evening cleaning. 🙂  With a couple of breaks to check messages in the office, I finally finished the mowing by mid-afternoon in time to head home and clean up a little so I could go to a funeral visitation to see a friend whose mother had died.  After spending some time listening to my friend, it was back home to change clothes again and then grab some lunch.

 I had a little time before the after-school program would be cleared out of the building, so I got my lunch and headed down to Potato Creek for a quick visit.  As I shot some photos, it was interesting to see some hints that fall is on the way as some of the leaves were beginning to change color.  Even in the midst of an overcast day, or perhaps because of it, these yellow flowers were blooming ever so brightly throughout the park.  It was as if they were bouquets of cheer scattered about for all who would need one.  It was a short visit at the park, but one that was enjoyable and helped me relax and reset before heading back to work for the “evening shift”.  As I headed back to work it was time to start cleaning and getting the building ready for Sunday.  As is typical, I got the east end of the building done and then sat down to write today’s page while the floor scrubber recharges so I can do the hallway floors in the west end of the building.  By the time I finish writing, it should be ready to go and I can get my work done for the day and head home.

As I reflect on the day, these flowers that I photographed are one of the things that stand out to me.  Much of our life, at least mine, is spent doing tasks that often seem mundane and not that important.  Faithfulness in the every day tasks of life can often go unnoticed and unappreciated.  On the other hand, if we’re doing the normal tasks of life for the purpose of being noticed and appreciated, we really need to examine our motives and have an attitude check.  Instead, our focus should be on doing everything as doing it for the Lord.  This means I do my best and I do it in worship regardless of who is or isn’t watching.  When I spend 8 hours in one day cleaning and mowing knowing I have to come back and spend another 4 – 6 hours doing more cleaning, it is by keeping focused on the fact that I’m doing it for the Lord that my mind can remain in an attitude of worship and prayer as I work.  While bouncing around on the mower seat for hours on end isn’t that pleasant, the sound of then engine behind me drowns out all distractions so I can have lengthy times of uninterrupted prayer and worship.  Today, much of my prayer time was about integrity.  I don’t think many Christians grasp just how easy it is to lose our integrity and how difficult it is to rebuild it.  When we make commitments and don’t keep them, all of our attempts at justification do little to help us maintain integrity.  Too often, we would rather make excuses than make a confession.  So instead of admitting we failed, instead of admitting we reneged on a promise, instead of simply confessing that we weren’t able to do what we said we would do, we make excuses and try to justify our actions with hollow-sounding rhetoric that does nothing to rebuild or establish our integrity.  Too often we find it easier to live without integrity than to make good on our word.  We live in such a time where words don’t seem to have much value — unless we want them to.  We want to be able to say whatever we want, yet become quickly offended when others try to hold us to our word.  We want to say it was just words when when we are called out on the things we say, but we demand others are held accountable for the words they use.  God’s solution is fairly straight-forward — live with integrity at all costs.  

I pray that you and I would find purpose in the routine tasks of life as we do them as unto the Lord.  I pray that we would always examine our motives, especially when we begin to look for praise from people.  I pray that we would be people of integrity at all times.   I pray that we would be quick to “make right” on our word when we discover we’ve slipped in this area of integrity.  I pray that we would examine our own eyes for the logs they may contain before we even think about addressing the speck in our brother’s eye.  I pray that we would find encouragement and blessing in God’s willingness to surround us with beauty, such as the wildflowers in today’s photo.

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