Page 117 was a day of rest. With dinner plans for the evening, the rest of the day had no plans other than to be ready for dinner. 🙂 No new photos taken and, on the surface, it would seem like very little to write about. But sometimes those days have been some of my longest posts, we’ll see. Today’s photo is one I took on Wednesday and seemed fitting as the bobcat was resting in the sun. It is not often that a day off becomes as much about rest as this one did, but sometimes we simply need rest from the routines of work and sometimes we just need rest.
I was awake by 7:30, which is actually sleeping in a couple hours, and began my day with God and coffee. I’m not sure my mind knows how to completely rest as I found myself contemplating throughout the day on the text and outline for the sermon I’ll share on Sunday. But, at least for me, contemplating on the Word of God is about the most restful thing I can do. I still had to decide what I would put on the grill for the evening’s dinner plans, so once Susan got up we headed to Sam’s to see what we could find. After picking up a few groceries, it was back home where I fired up the pellet grill to work no lunch. That left me with a couple hours to rest while the meat for lunch cooked. After smoked pork chops for lunch, I had a couple more hours to rest before starting up the pellet grill again to put some chicken on for dinner. Maybe you’re seeing a pattern? Eat, rest, eat, rest, eat, rest . . . — not a bad pattern when your goal for the day is rest.
As evening approached, my niece and her future husband came over and we enjoyed a nice meal together and talked about what they wanted in their wedding ceremony that I’ll officiate for them this summer. The conversation made me think back and wonder if anyone is ever as ready for marriage as they think they are. Not that they said anything that made me question their readiness, but more like nostalgic thoughts that came out of nearly 36 years of experience. The Bible says that marriage between a husband and wife is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church and I think the core instruction to a person entering into either relationship is the same — stay the course. Yes, I understand that in human relationships staying the course is not always possible, healthy, or even safe. I believe there are legitimate reasons to step aside from a relationship, but too often people make up reasons simply because there is no commitment to stay the course — in either our human relationships or our relationship with God. Life gets hard. I expect every marriage will face troubles and difficult times. Jesus even promised that if we follow Him, we can expect trouble. But the reward in our relationship with Jesus belongs to those who are faithful to the end. And I believe the reward in marriage belongs to those who are faithful to a commitment to stay the course and work through the hardships, troubles, differences, and misunderstandings.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Rest takes many forms. The rest you need today may not be the same as the rest you need next week.
- God doesn’t stop working in your life just because you are resting. Sometimes His greatest work takes place when we are still.
- God has given marriage to mankind as a picture of the relationship He desires to have with us.
- Our culture’s picture of marriage is often a far cry from God’s view of it.
- When in doubt, choose God’s perspective.
- Planning for a great wedding can be a beautiful thing. Planning for a great marriage is even more beautiful.
- Commitment is a characteristic that carries us through the troubles that are sure to come.
- God desires and rewards faithfulness but He is also faithful even when we are not.