After a long workday yesterday and and another long one expected tomorrow, page 259 became a personal retreat day as I loaded up my kayak and headed to Potato Creek for the morning and into the early afternoon. There was a light breeze so the water was just a bit “choppier” than I prefer but not enough to keep me off the lake. The air temperature was a little cool to begin with, but ended up being almost perfect weather for kayaking — not too hot, not too cold. As I loaded my camera equipment into the kayak and set up my tripod in front of me, the water was beginning to sparkle as the sun made its way over the tree line. The sky was filled with a beautiful mix of high-level wispy clouds and low-hanging cotton ball type clouds. Today’s photo was taken about midway through my 4 hours on the water today. I will typically set my small camera on the tripod at the front of the cockpit opening and then carry my “good” camera in a bag between my legs. One of the keys, at least for me, in capturing photos that I like is to have a variety of options to choose from.
Today’s journey around the lake was filled with a variety of birds just waiting to be photographed along a shoreline filled with trees beginning to change into their fall colors. Each dip of the paddle into the water opens up a new perspective in viewing the creativity and wonder of God in creation. It is that ever-changing view around me that keeps me snapping photos — today’s trip yielded a little over 200. While many of them are similar to each other, no two are identical as they are each taken at a different time and place, even if the difference is small. Yet not a single one of them, nor the collection of all of them, gives a full picture of the park or my kayak trip. I only see a part of the whole picture and no matter what I would do, I don’t have the ability to see each detail that is present around me. I see in part, God sees in full. I know in part, God knows in full.
As I paddled around the lake, my mind reflected on the journey that I’m on called life. With each day, week, month, year that passes, I get a little wider glimpse of what God has already seen from beginning to end. But even as the view widens, there are parts past, present, and future that I don’t yet see and may never see or understand. And some of the parts that I do see sometimes haunt me and I wish I could erase them from my mind. They say that you never really erase information from a computer, deleting a file simply takes away the ability to access it easily. My mind seems to be that way. Bad things happen, hurtful things happen, hard things happen and I turn them over to God and pursue His help in moving on and moving forward in life. I make progress, sometimes even good progress, and then the right (or wrong) words are spoken, things are done, circumstances pile up and all of a sudden the pain of those “deleted files” is back with a vengeance and I find myself struggling just to keep my head above water. Susan was watching Lion King the other day and there is a scene where the monkey character whacks Simba in the head with his staff and tells him it’s in the past, it doesn’t matter anymore. I often identify with Simba’s response as yes it’s in the past, “but it still hurts”. I’m still learning and I know I stumble around at times, but the only solution I’ve found for those times when the hurts of the past return is to once again turn them over to God and press on.
I pray that you and I would know the value of spending time with God away from our normal distractions and make it a practice to do so. I pray that we would enjoy the view of life God gives us while we keep in mind that it is just a partial view. I pray that we would seek to understand our fellow believers who have a different, and also incomplete, view from where they’re at. I pray that we would learn from the journey God is leading us on and when the pain of the past returns, trust God to once again carry us through as we take these hurts to Him.