Page 97 was back-to-work day after the family getaway that we were able to take. With the long day yesterday, and no electricity when we got home, today began with the writing of page 96. Now that I’m home, I’ll try to go back to writing each day’s page at the end of the day rather than the next morning. Once yesterday’s page was written, I headed into work and began the workday catching up on messages and accumulated mail. Eventually I made it through the office tasks and then took care of some maintenance issues before starting to get the building cleaned and ready for Sunday.
I’ve not found anything glamorous about cleaning bathrooms, floors, glass doors, or any other part of the building but they are necessary tasks that are not only a part of my job, they are also a part of serving my church family. Most of us have responsibilities of some type that are necessary but not all that exciting. Our attitude in doing them can make the difference between experiencing contentment or discouragement. I know there are times when the cleaning that needs done is beyond the level that occurs with normal activity. Often my first internal response is frustration that someone would be so inconsiderate to leave a space in the condition I find it. The ironic part is that I think the frustration rises so quickly in my mind because most of the time people really do a good job of cleaning up after themselves at the building. I get complacent and begin to expect everything to be easy. But that’s not life — at least not the life I experience. When I learn to take captive every thought, I submit my frustration to God and He reminds me that the work I do, I am doing for Him. He also reminds me that there are times when I don’t measure up to the expectations of others and their work is increased because of something I’ve done or haven’t done. When we follow God’s instruction to serve one another, we begin to find joy in serving because we recognize that Christ is honored when we do so.
As I took the trash out this afternoon, I startled two different birds that were perched in the trees near the dumpster. One was a flicker that I often see from my office window and the other was a hawk that I’ve seen numerous times hovering over the property. While I didn’t have my camera outside with me, today’s photo is of a similar looking hawk that I photographed at Hawk’s Nest State Park in West Virginia earlier this week. The various birds of prey are fascinating to watch as they soar through the air on the rising thermals or wind currents. The appearance given is of effortless flight. God says that part of the result of waiting on the Lord, or resting in Him, is that we would rise up on wings like eagles. As we learn to trust God and rest in Him as we allow His timing to come about, we find that we can soar through life with much less effort then when we attempt to do life on our own.
After my work was done, I came home and began to work my way through the 900+ photos that I took over during our trip to West Virginia. It seems that when I go through the photos I take, there are always a few that I delete right away because they are blurry, I missed the shot, or they simply didn’t turn out. But most of them are saved on my computer and I try to find the highlights out of the number to share on social media. I know that there is an element in the sharing that wants to be seen, but usually more than that is an element that wants to share the beauty and creativity of God with people who may otherwise never be able to see the things I photograph.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Routine can be useful if it helps us to accomplish the good God has created for us to do.
- Routine is good but it should never replace listening to and following God.
- Routine can also be destructive if it keeps us from doing the good God wants us to do.
- Flexibility in knowing when to adjust our routines and when to hold fast to them is something we should seek from God.
- Serving others won’t always be exactly what we expect but it will always be what God expects.
- Giving others more opportunity to serve is no excuse for being inconsiderate.
- Sometimes what we view as being inconsiderate is simply someone giving more importance to what they’re considering than what we are considering.
- There may be an occasion when people deliberately make your job more difficult, more often we make it more difficult ourselves with a poor attitude.
- It is far easier to become weary than it is to be renewed when we rely on our own strength.
- Waiting on the Lord and resting in Him can be very difficult but it also can be the only way we can find renewed strength.