2017: Page 35

After a long workday yesterday, page 35 was knocking on the door by the time I got home and began to unwind last night.  That made today’s sleeping in and the delayed start to the awake part of page 35 a true benefit of getting my work done yesterday.  When I finally woke up and got my coffee made, I headed downstairs to my desk where I spent time on social media and going through yesterday’s photos.  Throughout the morning I also spent time going over the sermon I’ll be sharing tomorrow morning in Dowagiac.  

After lunch we decided to make a quick trip to South Haven, Michigan to take some photos and see how much ice was encasing the lighthouse.  By the time we left home, the bright, sunny day had turned into a cloud-covered, gray day but that didn’t stop us from hitting the road.  When we arrived at our destination, the lighthouse was mostly clear of ice and the waves were not breaking over the pier in the dramatic fashion I had hoped for.  While not exactly what I was hoping for, there were still photo opportunities to be found.  Today’s photo is one of those opportunities as I looked down the pier toward the lighthouse and could see a glimmer of color on the far horizon as the sun continued its drop behind the clouds.  While the ice had mostly melted off of the lighthouse, the pier itself was still covered with a thick layer of ice.  Fortunately, most of it was either rough or slushy enough to keep the walk out to the end of the pier from being too treacherous.  There are times when the waves break over the pier to the extent that you would not be able to reach the lighthouse.  That’s when the upper part of the structure on the pier came into play in years past.  The raised “catwalk” allowed the lightkeeper access to the lighthouse when the waves would have swept him off the pier.  Given that the early lighthouses were lit with oil or kerosene lamps, it was important for the keeper to be able to get to the lighthouse regardless of the weather.  

It made me think about how important it is to walk a Christian life that makes every attempt to stay above the fray.  It is far too easy to walk a lower, wider path and then question what happened when we are swept into the tumultuous waves.  In good weather the high path looks more challenging and even less safe so instead of becoming accustomed to it when things are going well, we avoid it.  Then when the storms of life come, we continue to walk in the paths we are comfortable with and instead of walking above the fray, we find ourselves swept into it.

After taking some photos, we stopped for a snack and then headed home where I spent some more time mulling over tomorrow’s sermon before beginning to write today’s page.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • After having worked in a setting that often required late nights followed by early mornings, I am thankful for a season of life with greater balance in that area.
  • Like good chili, I believe the sermons I share improve the longer they are allowed to simmer.
  • Many times it is easier for us to come up with an excuse for why we don’t do something than it is to actually do it.
  • Expectations can have a great ability to drive us forward, but when not met, they can be a major hindrance to our appreciating what we have.
  • It is easier to learn to walk the “high road” when the weather of life is calm than when it is stormy.
  • When the storms of life come, we will most likely be found walking the path that we are accustomed to.
  • If ever there was a time when God’s people need to learn to walk and live above the fray of this world, it is now.

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