Like many other professions, the traditional concept of weekend doesn’t mesh well with ministry. So, I have learned to put effort into blocking off at least one day a week that I avoid going onto the church property. After a busy week, today was that day so I was able to sleep in and spend the day with my family. The morning was fairly low-key as I spent some time going through some old photos and straightening up around my desk area at home. While protecting today means I will have to head into work early Sunday morning to make sure the building is cleaned and ready for the day, that price is worth a full day with my family.
By noon the temperature had warmed up and although the sky remained overcast, we headed out to take some photos and do some walking. Our first stop was lunch and then we made our way to Bonneyville Mill County Park in Bristol, Indiana. While a sunlit blue sky would have added to the photos, the mill ponds were as smooth as glass so it was a great day for reflections. After taking some photos of the mill, barns, and windmill with their reflections, we headed up the stream to the small waterfalls in the park. The water was running high and the low ground around the stream was saturated so our idea of a walk didn’t work out too well. We finished up our photo-taking and then headed to Sam’s Club to pick up some things that we needed . . . or wanted. Since our first attempt at a family walk didn’t work out too well, we stopped by the Mishawaka Riverwalk on our way home and managed to get in a quick walk of nearly three miles.
While I didn’t take a lot of photos along the river today, I did get a few pictures of ducks, the glimmer of a sunset, and a muskrat who made today’s page. As I was watching, he swam up the river and crawled onto this partially submerged log. Once out of the water, he spent quite a bit of time appearing to groom himself. I’m not sure if he was washing his “hands”, cleaning his face, brushing his hair, or some combination of all of that and more. It even appeared as if he was using the reflection from the wet log to make sure everything was just right . . . perhaps prepping for a Saturday night date? 🙂 I wonder if we pay nearly as much attention to our cleanliness and how we look as what this muskrat does. I’m afraid that many times our online presence may say that we don’t.
Once we were home for the evening, I scanned a few more old photos into my computer and began writing today’s page. Some of the photos I’m going through, I haven’t looked at for a very long time. Each photo serves as a reminder of another time and place. It is in the reviewing of them, and the sharing of them, that we are able to keep the lessons from those times and places alive.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- While the idea of a weekend off of work is good, many occupations require deliberate effort and flexibility in order to find and protect significant time with family.
- If protecting time with family can be a challenge, how much more difficult is it for us to protect significant time with God.
- While we may want a life filled with sunshine and blue skies, not having what we want doesn’t mean God’s presence has been removed from us.
- Sometimes we need to look beyond what we want, and actually see what God has provided, in order to enjoy the beauty He has for us.
- Sharing something online and saying, “Never mind the language.”, isn’t the same as taking the time to clean all the filth and evil from our life so that we are actually clean.
- Taking photos is a fun hobby but if they’re not viewed and shared, is there really a point to it.
- If our relationship with God is not viewed and shared, is there really a point to it?