2016: Page 331

Page 331 continued the Thanksgiving holiday and it was nice to have a few days off in a row where I didn’t even have work related projects that crept in to take my time.  Well, at least not directly.  Today was spent with my family doing some covered bridge hunting and photographing but I also spent much of the drive time reflecting on the sermon topic and text I will share Sunday morning.  The day allowed for some sleeping in but with a free day ahead of us and a forecast that was dry, we gathered up our cameras and went out following my GPS to photograph some covered bridges.  I began the day’s trip with 13 bridges on my list but almost immediately crossed off the first one as it was not really lined up in the direction of the others.  One of the bridges on the list ended up being a small cart bridge on a golf course so we didn’t take any pictures of it.  As we neared the end of the list, the sun was quickly fading in the west so we skipped two more of the bridges which brought our number of bridges photographed on this trip to nine with the final bridge leaving us a three hour drive back home.  

Some of the bridges are still in use and carry traffic over them on a regular basis while others stand as monuments to an earlier time while a replacement bridge runs alongside them.  Today’s photo was taken through a window on one of the longer bridges for the day.  As the sun began to set, visible in the photo is the modern bridge that the road now runs over.  Most of the covered bridges we have photographed were built in the mid to late 1800’s with a few being constructed in the early 1900’s.  Some have had major work done on them over the years to keep them in a usable condition and others appear to have had little maintenance done and aren’t even safe to walk across.  Yet even with very little care, the fact that these old bridges still remain is a testament to the effectiveness of their design and purpose.  The reason they were designed as covered bridges was to have the covering of a roof to protect the timbers of the bridge structure so they would endure through the changing seasons and weather.  With a little protection, much of the timber of these bridges have indeed lasted and when you add a little regular maintenance as well, the bridges not only last, they are still usable!

God has given us His Spirit and a set of armor that comes through His Spirit to protect us from the attacks of the evil one.  Its presence over us gives us a certain degree of protection simply because of its existence and purpose.  The greater usefulness is when we continually maintain our life through prayer as we put on the whole armor of God.  Prayer is a key component in the maintenance required for an growing relationship with God.  As people who desire to not just survive, but to be useful in accomplishing the good works God has created for us to do, we must maintain our spiritual walk with a lifestyle of prayer.

I pray that you and I would enjoy times when we are able to take a break from the regular tasks of life.  I pray that we would learn to be flexible in our plans as we allow room for changes.  I pray that we would understand our need for the spiritual protection offered by the armor of God.  I pray that we would not be content to simply have the armor of God available to us, but that we would use it and maintain it through a lifestyle of prayer. 

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