Page 319 was a Monday and therefore the official start to the work week. The “supermoon” was supposed to hit the peak of its fullness this morning so I was hoping to catch a few photos. As I headed into work the moon was shining brightly so I snapped a few shots on the way from my truck into the building with the plan to come back out and get some more after the cleaning and prep was done in the building. As I went about my morning cleaning tasks, my mind was filled with prayer and worship as I considered the incredible beauty God shares with us throughout creation. After the building was ready for the day, I took the trash out and noticed that the cloud cover had built up in the western sky and the moon was no longer visible. While mildly disappointed, I was still glad I had gotten a few photos earlier. With the cleaning done, it was time to connect with God in putting together the prayer guide for next week. As I began to do that, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a red glow beginning to form on the eastern horizon. As I continued my prayer time, I headed outside to see what beauty God would share with me this morning.
As I was taking pictures of the sunrise and the deer that were enjoying the early morning calm, a jet flew across the existing vapor trail of another jet that had passed over earlier. Their crossed paths left a huge vapor trail X in the sky and my first thought was of an old map where the location of the hidden treasure was marked by an X. That seemed to be a fitting thought as the beauty I was experiencing was a true treasure with the ultimate treasure being the One behind this beauty that had created it all. While that was a very fitting reminder, I also thought about the custom of a person signing with an X if they were not able to write their name. We often think of that practice being used when a person doesn’t have the ability to write, but it is also done at times when a person chooses not to write their name. As I watched the X being written across the sky, I thought about the Hebrew people who would not write out the actual name of God because His name is holy and they didn’t want to risk using it in vain. So often, God does some of His greatest work and simply stamps it as His, expecting that each of us will recognize the source of the greatness behind what is accomplished.
After taking photos and spending some time in prayer, I went back inside to continue the process of next week’s prayer guide. As I prayed and considered several topics, God kept drawing me back to the topic of thankfulness to go along with the Thanksgiving holiday being celebrated in the U.S. next week. As I looked at my files, it seemed that this is one of the few prayer guide topics I’ve repeated over the years. My first reaction was to spend time with God seeking something different. Then an old story came to mind of a preacher who kept preaching the same sermon until finally one Sunday, a member of his congregation asked him when he was going to work on another sermon to share. The response of the preacher was that as soon as the congregation began putting into practice the things from the repeated sermon, he would move on to a different sermon. Being reminded of that story made me think that it would not be a bad thing to have another reminder of God’s desire that we live thankful lives.
The rest of the day was filled with bookkeeping for the church missions account as well as the Impact Prayer Ministry account and then a variety of tasks to continue getting ready for the International Conference on Missions. By mid-afternoon I headed out to lunch and picked up pop to restock the pop machine. While it’s not a huge task and the money trickles in one can of soda at a time, last year the funds from the pop machine were enough to purchase 150 books to be given away to people wanting to grow in a lifestyle of prayer. Eventually I headed home to unwind for the day and write today’s page before heading off to get some sleep to be ready for another full day tomorrow.
I pray that you and I would seek God more diligently than we seek the latest “thing” that everyone has to see or experience. I pray that we would not allow the disappointments of life to keep us from experiencing the beauty that God desires to show us. I pray that we would view our relationship with God as the greatest treasure that we could ever find. I pray that we would recognize God’s ownership over all creation, including us. I pray that God continues to provide the resources necessary to provide the prayer-based materials of Impact Prayer Ministry to anyone who will use them.