2017: Page 130

Page 130 has been a long day after another restless night.  I was awake often enough through the night that I almost got dressed at 3 AM to go in and get an early start on the workday.  As I thought about whether or not to do that, I must have finally fallen asleep because the next thing I remember is the alarm going off at 5:30 AM so I could get up for real. 🙂

I began the workday with the usual cleaning and building prep tasks and then did a check on the cooling systems as the forecast was for warmer temperatures today.  Once the building was ready, I settled in with God to finally finish the prayer guide for next week.  With my mom in the hospital and eventually getting a pacemaker put in early this week, the topic of facing trouble was easy to come up with when I began the prayer guide process on Monday.  Finding the time to settle my mind and finish the writing of it took a few days.

For me, stress has a way of bringing closer to the surface memories of events from years past that have been painful for a variety of reasons.  During those times, it doesn’t take a whole lot to transport my mind back to such occasions with such clarity that it is almost like I’m actually there again.  Today it was an email from a company wanting me to buy imprinted ink pens to use as promotional give-a-ways.  All of a sudden I was sitting in a camp board meeting where the board members were upset with the quality of the camp promotional pens and were being verbally angry with “whoever wasted our money on such crap.”  Their attitudes and angry discussion left no opening for a response and they really weren’t looking for one, but the truth is that I was the Advancement Manager with no money allotted for promotional materials so I had purchased the pens with my own money to give away at churches and events.  They were meant to be an inexpensive logo-ed give-a-way, not a fine presentation item.  While they were dismayed at what they were, the reality is that they were not willing to pay more let alone pay for the very basic items I was using.  It is funny how people can build lofty expectations while having no interest in doing their part to make those expectations happen.  I have learned when memories such as that are near the surface that I have to allow myself to process them and then move on with the realization that God has carried me through, and away from, such times.  While there are many times I would like to erase some of the memories of the past from my mind, God continues to show me that those memories are a reminder of how far He has brought me.

As I allowed my memory journey to leave the past and reenter the present, I turned my attention to what God is doing now.  I spent time working on some book items to get ready for some new writing and then started outlining some material for a couple workshop sessions I’ll lead at a student conference later this summer.  By late afternoon it was time to come up for air and lunch.  After stopping for lunch I  headed to the river to do a little walking and take some photos.  Today’s photo is of some flowers, or some weeds, depending on your perspective.  The same can be said for many of the circumstances of life — our perspective has a great influence on whether we view the circumstance as adding beauty or being a nuisance.  

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

  • When one part of the body/family suffers, the rest of the body/family suffers with it but also strengthens and encourages the whole.
  • While the forecasts and projections of man are not always accurate, they can help us prepare for things that are likely to happen.
  • Preparing for things that may happen is better than not being prepared.  The problem often comes when we count on possibilities that are not guaranteed.
  • Expecting quality without providing adequate resources will rarely work.
  • Responding in anger to something without knowing the circumstances will often lead to trouble.
  • It may be impossible to erase negative memories but we don’t have to respond to those memories negatively. 
  • God can work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.  What you view as a weed, He can give it the beauty of a flower.

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