In this story of life, there are many pages that look insignificant apart from the whole narrative. Page 285 was one of those pages that appears ordinary but, like every other page, the story wouldn’t be complete without it. The day began with the usual cleaning and building prep before spending some time going through the material for the lesson I’ll teach tomorrow evening. After getting the lesson ideas planted in my mind, it was back outside to continue work on the trails through the woods. As I cut wood and graded trails, my mind started to work through the new trail layout and how to best use it for a prayer and listening walk. There is still a lot of work to do before I reach that point, but the plan is to place a number of benches along the trails with a variety of different prayer focuses along the way.
I got so caught up prepping trails and considering how to make them into a useful prayer walk area that the workday got away from me before I had even realized it was gone. After putting my tools and equipment away, it was time to head home and relax for a little while. The weather forecast is still calling for a significant drop in temperatures later this week, so we headed down to Potato Creek for an evening family walk to enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts. There is always something peaceful to me about walking the trails at the park and that is the atmosphere I’m hoping to establish on the trails at the church property. Each visit to the park looks more and more like fall with the changing color of the leaves. Today’s photo is looking down an abandoned roadway which has now become a trail in the park.
As I think about the day, I keep thinking about how “ordinary” the day was. But as I think about that, I can’t help but be reminded of the things that don’t happen without a series of “ordinary” days in which all the preparation is done. No lesson is taught, or learned, without the behind the scenes work of planning, study, and preparation. No prayer walk is developed through the woods without the ordinary work days of cutting brush and clearing trails. And no great work for the kingdom of God is accomplished without the “ordinary” days of prayer and listening. So often, people skip serious prayer times and avoid the quiet times of listening to the still, small voice of God’s Spirit because they feel they have to be doing something important — something extraordinary. Yet the extraordinary is not the result of pursuing it, rather it is the result of pursuing God in the ordinary moments of life. I teach about prayer and write prayer-based devotional material, and share poems because I listen to God in the ordinary moments of life and He gives me things that are worth sharing.
I pray that you and I would set our mind on things above when we find ourselves in the middle of an ordinary day. I pray that we would seek God wherever we are and find places that free us from the distractions that keep us from listening to Him. I pray that we would do the ordinary tasks of life well and allow God to build them into the extraordinary things that He would desire them to be.