2016: Page 297

Page 297 was the official end of our fall break anniversary get-a-way as tomorrow we head back to work.  Our 35th wedding anniversary was September 21 but our schedules were not conducive to doing much at that time so we planned this anniversary get-a-way during the school and preschool’s fall break.  We left home around 1 PM after preschool was done last Wednesday and made it back home at 9:30 PM tonight after putting 1527.6 miles on the truck during our sightseeing adventures.  It seems like we packed a lot into the 4 1/2 days that we had, but there was so much more that we didn’t get to.

Today was our journey home and I began the day by soaking in the hot tub for a while as the sun worked at coming up over the tree line.  Then it was time to start the unpleasant task of packing up and getting ready to leave — unpleasant simply because it meant our short vacation was nearly over.  Once the truck was loaded, it was time to take some final photos of the lake and shoreline with the beautiful fall colors lit up by the morning sun.  On our way out of the park we stopped and hiked a short trail then it was time to head for home.  But just because we were headed for home didn’t mean vacation was going to be over — there was still a day’s journey to be had.  Our first stop after leaving the park was another covered bridge.  It was such a beautiful day that we decided to head north and make a quick visit to Cuyahoga National Park to see a few sights on our way home.  At the park we took a walk on the Erie Canal Towpath where I took today’s photo.  A portion of the walk was boardwalk through a wetlands area.  The beauty along the entire walkway was amazing.  After our walk we took a short drive to see an incredible waterfall in the park and then found another covered bridge to photograph.  Not wanting to give up, we swung up along Lake Erie to make a short visit to the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park to photograph the lighthouse.  After squeezing all that we could into the day, it was finally time to actually head for home and prepare for the workweek.

As I think about the day, I reflect on the effort we put on continuing something that we do not want to end.  I wonder how often we put that much effort into maintaining our relationship with God and with one another.  When we are pursuing God, do we long to have just one more moment together in our prayer and quiet time before we have to go on to other tasks of life?  Do we look for every opportunity we can find to spend time with those we love as we desire that those times would never end or are we satisfied with seeing time together end?  I also thought about the paths we walk.  Early this morning we walked a path that was narrow and not well maintained.  There were areas that were slippery and exposed tree roots threatened to trip up the casual hiker that wasn’t paying attention.  The early afternoon hike was on a wide path that was mostly level and smooth.  In places where mud would make the walk treacherous, a raised boardwalk had been installed.  It is in our time with God where we learn to follow the instruction of His Word that we are able to find the paths that He has made straight.

I pray that you and I would make the most of the opportunities God gives us to spend time with our families.  I pray that we would be creative in remembering special occasions.  I pray that we would hold fast to God, and to one another, as the value those relationships bring make us want them to never end.  I pray that God would make our paths straight as we learn to lean upon His Word for strength and direction.

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