The school and preschool were not in session today as they took off in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday. The original tracking info indicated the rest of my book order was to arrive today, so page 16 found me at work even with the holiday status. After I got to work, I checked on the delivery status and discovered that sometime overnight they had changed it to Tuesday due to “holiday closings”. I had plenty to do so it was probably just as well that I didn’t take the day off. I began the day by settling into some time with God as I prayed about the topic for next week’s prayer guide. A few topics came to mind quickly as I spent time with God but none of them really grabbed my attention for very long. Eventually as I sat and listened, the idea of following God began to resonate within my spirit.
The rest of the morning was spent in prayer and Bible study as I fleshed out the daily prayer points to go with the theme of following God. In a society where so many people spend their life clamoring to be a leader, there is often little emphasis put on learning to follow well. I believe that much of the leadership void that exists in so many areas of life from home to church to business to politics, and so many places in between, is because of people who want to lead without knowing how to follow. When I think of current leaders and historical leaders that I admire, as well as the future leaders that I would hope to see, their ability and desire to follow God is the single most important factor in being able to lead well. When being a leader goes to the head, pride often takes over and our plans, desires, and agendas end up being pursued with no thought of what God’s plan, desire, and agenda happens to be.
As I worked on the prayer guide, a variety of wildlife was (somewhat) visible outside my office window. At times it is a fascinating challenge to catch movement out of the corner of my eye and then try to figure out what it was that was moving and where it is at. Today there were several bird species that had very effective natural camouflage that made it difficult to see them. But today’s photo isn’t a bird. As my eyes scanned the woods after sensing movement out in the brush, I eventually noticed this deer stretched out on the ground as she got some morning rest. The photo was tough to try to get a depth of field setting that would see through the brush and focus on the deer, but I think it is noticeable and somewhat in focus.
After the prayer guide was written, I spent the early part of the afternoon doing the cleaning and building prep to be ready for the school day tomorrow. So, while I ended up working today it does mean that I won’t have to go in early tomorrow as the early morning tasks are already done.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- People often have individual criteria for observing, or not observing, special days.
- It seems that in our culture of division, everyone wants to claim that our nation’s heroes would be in agreement with them.
- It is easy to claim agreement, far more difficult to live in agreement.
- “Can fresh water and salt water come from the same spring?” Can hatred and division exist in an atmosphere devoted to love and unity?
- Many times when we spend time listening to God we hear ourselves first, and unfortunately stop listening.
- The best leaders in any situation are those whose desire to follow God is greater than their desire to be seen as a leader.
- We become a better follower of God when we learn to pay attention to the details that God surrounds us with.