After a late night at work on Wednesday, page 19 was a day to sleep in and try to rest. Once I woke up, I spent some time catching up on email and social media messages as I waited for Susan to wake up. I also spent time checking out some options for hiking and taking photos during the free time I’ll have at the upcoming conference. I don’t know if it’s stuck or just a huge file, but I’ve been downloading a trail map to my iPad all day and it still isn’t finished.
I eventually convinced Susan it was morning and time to wake up. After helping her get ready for the day, we headed out to have my truck serviced and the regular maintenance taken care of. After dropping the truck off at the shop, we headed out for a walk along the river. The sky was still gray and a hazy fog hung in the air but the temperature made for a mostly pleasant walk. For the first third of the walk, Susan was in a gray, hazy mood that matched the weather. As I pushed her wheelchair down the sidewalk along the river, I made up silly songs to sing to her until her inner joy finally came out. With all the rain we’ve been having, the river level was high with the water up on the sidewalk at a couple different places along the walk. Today’s photo was taken during our walk as we paused to admire the stately arches of a beautiful bridge. While the river was flowing with an abundance of water, the surface was calm enough for some great reflections of everything above the surface.
After walking nearly six miles, we headed back to pick up the truck then picked up Mary Jane to go out for a late lunch. After lunch, it was back home to relax for the afternoon. As I watched the hatred and animosity flow back and forth online between those with differing political views, I spent much of the afternoon in prayer. The sad part to me is that the vast majority of my online connections are Christians and what I see flowing down my screen is the result of what these friends are liking, commenting on, and reacting to. Each side in this political divide believes that their sense of anger is a righteous indignation that gives them the right to speak to the other side in ways that are shameful. It seems that we have forgotten that God’s command to pray for our leaders is not about leaders that do things our way and not even about leaders who do things God’s way. No, it is about praying for those in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives regardless of who sits in a role of human authority. I know, it’s hard. I read things (from both extremes) and my blood pressure rises and my flesh wants nothing more than to write a blistering response to “set them straight”. But what would that accomplish other than make someone else’s blood pressure go up and solicit a blistering response from them? And in the end, no peaceful and quiet life for anyone and the message of Christ is drowned out by each of us insisting we are right.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- There’s always a chance of randomly taking a great photo by being at the right place at the right time. There’s a better chance of taking a great photo by putting yourself in the right place at the right time. This probably applies to more than photos.
- We all need times of spiritual maintenance and check-ups.
- Multiple gray, hazy days in a row are depressing in a way that only bright sunshine can cure.
- There is a spiritual cloudiness that seeks to keep the light of the world from being seen through us. We need to walk in the light just as He is in the light so that we can have fellowship with one another.
- The more that we are still before God, the greater the clarity that will be seen as we reflect Him.
- Our time with God ought to define how we pray rather than our political ideology defining our prayer life, or lack of it.