2017: Page 74

Page 74 found me awake half an hour before the alarm was to go off, which left me with a dilemma of whether to get up or try to go back to sleep.  I ended up laying in bed resting a while before finally getting up and heading in to work.  A light snow had fallen during that extra half hour and continued to fall as I began the morning cleaning and building prep.  As I worked, the snow quit falling and I took the leaf blower out to clear the walks before coming back inside to finish the cleaning that needed done for the day.  After the students arrived for the day, the snow intensity picked up again as the sun began its crawl up over the eastern horizon.  While there was significant cloud cover, the sunrise was beautiful as the snow fell with a backdrop of a glowing sky.  As I headed out to take some photos, I discovered someone had driven up on the ball field and tore it up sometime over the past few days.  

This caused a change in my planned schedule as I spent a good part of the morning going through surveillance video trying to narrow down when it happened and see if the vehicle involved could be identified.  I finally tracked it down to taking place sometime around 7:30 Monday evening as a black (or dark) Ford Ranger pickup did some donuts in the parking lot before heading up onto our back lawn and doing donuts there to tear up the lawn.  As the guy that mows and maintains the lawn and property, it frustrates me that a person would have absolutely no respect for property that isn’t theirs.  As I worked on the video to save the clips showing the damage being done, the snow began to fall with some serious intensity.  It finally let up again a little before preschool pick-up time, so I started up the leaf blower and went back out to clear sidewalks again.  This time there wasn’t just a dusting of snow, but several inches to remove — but fortunately it was “lake effect” snow which is typically light weight and fluffy so it was easy to blow away.

When I came in from clearing the walks, I got word that the school was still having computer issues related to the standardized testing that they need to do this week.  So, I headed down to the school office and joined in on a conversation with the testing company tech person and ended up spending much of the afternoon trying to figure out together what was causing the problem.  I did everything I could, and everything he suggested, on my end with nothing seeming to make positive progress.  I backtracked the entire network and reset every piece of hardware I could find but even that didn’t seem to make a difference.  When we finally reached the end of things I could try on my end, it was time to step away and suggest that someone with more experience on both sides of the issue take a look at it.  As I went back to my office, the trees and brush were once again filled with birds — even one that I don’t see outside my window very often.  As I read about birds and listen to people talk who are into birding, a general consensus seems to be that blue jays are not very friendly.  They have a reputation for being loud and obnoxious and chasing off any other bird that it considers to be in its territory.  Yet today’s photo is of one of those blue jays perched outside my office window while the brush and ground surrounding him is filled with a variety of other birds including cardinals and finches.  It made me think about how God has the ability to make us better than our reputation.  As I made my rounds to collect trash before tonight’s Bible studies, I stopped by the school office to see if there had been any progress with the network issues.  As it turned out, the person overseeing the testing had come in and everything was miraculously working.  It seems that the resetting of the hardware that I had done may have done some good, but it required time for it to actually take effect.

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

  • The way things are, are not necessarily the way things will be half an hour from now.  That is true of so much more than just the weather in Michiana.
  • When we are able to recognize the beauty of a situation, the work involved in that situation doesn’t seem so great.
  • Perhaps if we would recognize the beauty of people as God sees them, we wouldn’t think the work to reach them was too great to do.
  • There are times that I appreciate what God does through the way my mind is formed — other times, I wish it was “normal”.  While I know the people are different and the response would never be the same, today when I saw the damage that had been done to the lawn, my mind immediately transported me back to my previous job where I was somehow the one in trouble for a similar incident that I had nothing to do with other than an expectation that I make it appear as if it had never happened — immediately!  
  • There are times when we have to realize we’ve done the best we can with what we’ve been given by God, and then trust Him to take care of the next step.
  • There is great beauty to be found in seeing God transform people who have reputations for not getting along with others into those who learn to share both space and life.
  • Sometimes we need a reset in our life that also includes down time that allows the reset to work its way through every fiber of our being.  

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