2016: Page 309

Page 309 has been a busy day that doesn’t look to end any time soon.  I’m writing today’s page as I wait for the building to clear out after spending the last two hours making balloon creations for some very eager children.  The day began early with the usual cleaning and building prep before working much of the day on a combination of ICOM preparation, prayer teaching prep for tomorrow, and sermon prep for Sunday.  After learning my lesson Wednesday when I didn’t end up leaving the building during a 15 hour workday, I headed out to lunch today to get something to eat and take a break.  After lunch I began to get things set up for my balloon bending task and went through my backpack of balloons to see what I had left — as well as did some practicing to see what I could make.  The children began arriving a little before 5:30 and it was pretty much nonstop pumping, tying, and twisting until we began to close down the event at 7:30.  To me, the funny part is that I’m not very good at it and am extremely limited in what I can do with the balloons, but the children don’t seem to care.  They will stand in line and wait patiently, and be excited about whatever I make for them even if I have to tell them I don’t know how to do their request and give them the limited options.

As I worked in my office shortly before heading to lunch, a deer came up the trail outside my office window.  As I got my camera out and tried to take some photos, I heard a noise coming from the rooms next to my office.  Apparently, the deer heard it too as he turned quickly and ran off into the woods while I managed to snap two quick photos.  It is interesting that I can sit in my office watching and photographing them with ease until someone else shows up at one of the other windows facing the woods.  Even when I go outside, they will often lift up their heads to look at me and all I have to do is calmly tell them it’s just me and they will usually go back to grazing where they are.  I’ve even had them grazing on one side of the back field while I mow the other and then as I work my way across the field we change sides.  It is something special to build up a comfort level between the wildlife and myself where we don’t view each other as a threat.  It is even more significant, but often more difficult, when people can learn to trust one another in complete confidence that neither person will intentionally hurt the other.

As the building begins to quiet down and I reflect on the day before finishing the work that needs done, the words contentment and trust come to mind.  How often am I excited about what I get, even if it’s not what I wanted?  Do the simple pleasures of life satisfy us any more, or have we complicated life to the point where we miss out on the joy to be had simply because life doesn’t always turn out the way we want?  How often do we run in fear because we feel threatened when a calm, reassuring conversation would go a long way in building trust?  How often do we appear threatening to others because of our body language, tone of voice, or unexplained actions when we really had no intention or desire to scare them away?  Would having greater contentment lead to greater trust and would having greater trust lead to greater contentment?

I pray that you and I would learn contentment with what God offers as we learn to trust that His offer is always for our best.  I pray that we would pay attention to how we come across to people as we seek to serve for their benefit.  I pray that we would give others the benefit of the doubt when we lack understanding of their intentions.  I pray that we would learn to be calm in our approach to others as we learn to trust each other.

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