The snow finally arrived, so page 30 began early to get the walks cleared before I could start the usual Monday morning cleaning and building prep. Yesterday I discovered a boiler pump leaking, so after the building was ready for the day I called our building mechanical contractor to schedule a visit to look at it. He thought he could be out later in the morning, so I settled into my Monday morning routine while I waited. As I spent time with God considering a topic for the next prayer guide, my mind thought about the political divide in this nation I live in and how the Christian component on each side likes to loudly proclaim that you can’t be a Christian if you are a part of the other side. It makes me glad that God is in charge of who belongs to Him because otherwise we would all be in trouble.
As I thought about the animosity in so many of the social media posts being shared and liked by Christians, it seems that many have little interest in leading a peaceful and quiet life — at least not until everyone comes into full agreement with their viewpoints. It made me think of the words God gave us through the writer of the book of Hebrews about leaving the elementary teachings of Christ and moving on to maturity. In context, he is not talking about leaving the teachings as in rejecting them, but rather leaving them in the sense we have fully learned and implemented them and are ready for lessons of greater maturity. As I considered an apparent lack of maturity among many Christians in their public representation of Jesus, the next prayer guide began to form around the basics of the elementary teachings that are listed in the Hebrews 6 passage.
As I worked on the prayer guide, the service man came to work on the boiler issues so I took a break to work with him on the maintenance issues. When we had done what we could and I came back to the office, the woods was active with a variety of wildlife. I got my camera out and kept it nearby and ready as I spent time with God writing the prayer guide and taking pictures of the beautiful birds and deer He brought past my window. By mid-afternoon I had put in a full workday and the prayer guide was finished so I headed out to get some lunch. By the time I finished lunch, the sunny morning had turned into another gray, cloudy afternoon but I decided to head to Potato Creek for a walk even without the sunshine. When I arrived at the park, a pair of bald eagles were perched in a tree along the shoreline on the other side of the lake inlet channel. They were barely noticeable, but my ultra-zoom camera was able to capture some photos of them as if they were perched right next to me. Today’s photo was taken as I could hear some type of movement in the woods about 50 yards to my left on my side of the lake. Both of them turned to stare down whatever was making the noise, which allowed me to shoot some good profile pictures of them. Eventually they flew off, so I headed to the other end of the lake to get my walk in.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- While the snow creates extra work, there is great beauty to be seen in a fresh blanket of snow covering the dingy gray of winter.
- The sacrifice of Jesus was enough to cover all of our unrighteousness with His beauty if we choose to accept it.
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- If our determination of who is a Christian is based on who always makes choices that agree with the ones we have made, we are all in trouble.
- I am thankful for a God that has not only chosen me, but has equipped and empowered me with the ability to grow and mature.
- When I attack others publicly about differences we might have, rather than going to them privately, the problem soon becomes me rather than them regardless of what the issue is.
- God wants us to graduate elementary school and go on to maturity in Christ as we continue to hold onto and practice the things we first learned.
- God puts within each of His creations, including you and I, just what is needed.