After a long day yesterday, I slept well once I made it to bed but the alarm on my internal clock still went off at the usual time this morning. I had thought about setting an actual alarm clock, but decided to let my body decide when page 266 would start. Starting at its normal time wasn’t a bad thing as I was hoping to get my kayak on the lake before sunrise in an attempt to catch some good photos. I was out the door and headed down the road while it was still dark and did manage to get the kayak on the lake just as the first glimmers of light were crawling over the eastern horizon. There were just enough clouds in the sky to catch the light from the sun and expand it into a brilliant display of color. The air was calm to start the day which made the lake surface as smooth as glass and as reflective as a mirror. The conditions were near perfect and I found myself snapping photo after photo in the stillness of the morning.
Today’s photo is from this morning’s sunrise but it doesn’t show a completely smooth lake surface. The reason being is that I began my journey on the eastern shore where the sun was soon to rise and paddled out into the lake to get the vantage point I wanted for the photos. As I shot back across where I had just been, the ripples of my presence were still noticeable. As I paddled forward and gazed across the smooth lake surface in front of me, the ripples weren’t noticeable and it would have been easy to assume they didn’t exist. It wasn’t until I turned around and began to look at where I had been that I could notice the “tracks” left behind. It is easy, especially when life is smooth, to gaze ahead and see no evidence that our presence in this life makes any kind of a difference. As bad as that conclusion is, there are many who look at the waters ahead of them and wrongly conclude that there is not evidence that God is making any difference in this world.
One of the enormous benefits of journaling in some form or fashion, is that it provides a record of the “ripples” that have touched our life because of the working of God. Throughout the Bible, God has called His followers to practice using various forms of reminders so they wouldn’t forget who He is nor what He has done. When we are able to look back and see how God has touched our life in the past, it should give us great courage as we move forward regardless of how smooth or turbulent the waters ahead happen to be. By journaling about the work of God in our life, we are also able to make note of how God has been using us to accomplish His good will and purpose in the lives of others. We rarely see immediate results when we are faithful in being who God has called and created us to be. God does His best work in us when it is done in a way that He alone gets the credit and we become somewhat invisible. But even as we look back on that type of work in our life, we are able to see glimpses of how He has used it for the benefit of others and of His kingdom. It is so easy to get discouraged when it seems we don’t make a difference — believe me, I know. Yet how often during those times of discouragement do we just need to stop and turn around so we can see the reminders of what God has been doing all along?
I pray that you and I would listen to God when He calls us to times of rest with Him. I pray that we would find times to enjoy the stillness of God’s presence with us. I pray that we would listen to God as He calls us to remember Him and His work in us. I pray that we would establish ways and means of remembrance that will also serve as reminders to others. I pray that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus even as we look back to recognize the work He has been doing.