After a late night of work on Wednesday, page 33 was a day to sleep in and catch up on some rest before Friday arrives with another extended length workday. Once I was awake, I started the day trying to get hotel reservations made for the International Conference on Missions that will take place in Peoria, Illinois this fall. Today was the first day that the conference housing blocks opened up in the hotels and once announced the ICOM website went down — I suppose from too much traffic trying to get to the hotel links. I kept trying to get to the online site that I needed and eventually I made it on and was able to get my housing arranged for the conference. I’m glad I kept at it because by early afternoon the report from ICOM was that all the rooms in the hotel I’m booked at, and wanted to be at, were filled.
With that task complete and the sun finally shining brightly, I pulled the pellet grill out of the garage and began the process of slow-cooking some pork chops and potatoes. While it was still cold outside, I found that by setting the temperature control one setting higher than usual, it kept the temperature in the grill about the same as my normal cooking temp. After lunch, we decided to brave the cold wind chills and set off on a family adventure to shoot some photos along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The sun shining brightly made it appear as if it should be warmer than what it was, but the beauty to be found was worth the temporary discomfort of the cold. Today’s photo was taken through a picket fence set up on the beach in an attempt to slow down the drifting sand. Without the fence, the wind coming off the lake tends to move the sand from the beach onto the nearby parking lots and roadways. Sometimes we create so much wind as we talk about and promote our own ideas that God has to come along with some version of a picket fence to slow our wind down before we displace the good that He has in store for us.
As we traveled along the Lake Michigan shoreline, a variety of clouds began to form in the sky with the sun dancing in and out from among them. While the bright sun in a clear blue sky was great to see after so many cloudy days, the clouds that had gathered in the sky added texture and color to the scene as the sun began to set. Once the sun set and photo opportunities had dissipated, we left the beach area and headed home after a stop for dinner. When we arrived home, the clouds had once again disappeared and now the crystal clear sky was filled with the moon and stars.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- My mind and body usually let me know when I need to rest. Sometimes I listen and the other times I end up wishing I had listened.
- While I had some temporary frustration in trying to make conference housing reservations this morning, it is great to know that the interest in the International Conference on Missions is enough to overwhelm a website server.
- Ideal conditions in life seem to be rather rare.
- The secret to surviving less than ideal conditions is to learn to adapt and adjust by implementing the wisdom that comes from God.
- Spending time with my family is never time wasted. None of us know how much time our family members will be with us or how much time we will be with them.
- We can create a lot of wind in self-promoting our ideas, plans, and self. When what we are trying to accomplish stalls out, perhaps we should consider if God is trying to throttle back the wind of pride that flows from us.
- Sometimes the things in life that we view as “clouds” actually serve to add beauty and variety to what might otherwise be a perfectly dull life.