With the exhibit hall not opening until 9 AM, I was able to sleep in a little and try to catch up on some rest. Much of page 179 was spent walking and standing on the concrete floor of the exhibit hall, so by tonight my feet and legs are tired. It has seemed like a slow convention — at least in the exhibit hall — so my trust that God will use my display and presence here is being put to the test.
The conversations I end up involved in at a convention seem to run the full range of possibilities and then there are always a couple that run right past the realm of what any imagined possibilities would have sounded like. This morning a lady was digging through piles of t-shirts in the booth next to mine as she and others were trying to find the right sizes and styles of shirts to purchase. She looked up and saw me, then commented that it was sad that people were more interested in t-shirts than in a prayer ministry display. Then she went back to her rummaging through the shirts and never did stop to see what I had to offer — I guess it wasn’t that sad after all.
By mid-afternoon, it was time to take a break for my daily lunch/dinner meal. So far, I have compromised this week with my “creature of habit” tendencies. Because the food was so good at the BBQ place I found on the first day of the convention, I’ve returned to the same restaurant each afternoon but have ordered something different each time. 🙂 It is about a mile walk each way, so if it’s not raining tomorrow I will probably walk back for a final time and try another item off the menu that I’ve not yet had this week. For some, that probably doesn’t sound like a big deal. But for me, ordering a new item after I’ve already found something that I like is very much stepping outside of my comfort zone.
Speaking of comfort zones, today’s photo was taken on my walk back to the convention center this afternoon. There growing in a crack between the sidewalk and a building was this persistent plant sharing its beauty with all who would pass by. It can’t be easy for this plant to grow in such an environment, but grow it does. It not only has current blossoms, but you can see both an old blossom that is dying away and some new buds that will soon open to share their beauty as well. Many times people think that they would be able to blossom in this world with great beauty if only their circumstances were better. God’s desire is that we share His beauty regardless of our circumstances, even recognizing that sometimes the harshest of situations can make His beauty even more obvious and appreciated.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Balance in life’s schedules can be difficult, but very necessary.
- Just because things don’t happen at my pace, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening at God’s pace.
- Priorities are what we do.
- Recognizing misplaced priorities isn’t very useful unless we are willing to change our actions.
- There can be comfort in things familiar, but there can also be goodness discovered in things new.
- Jesus said that His followers would face trouble so it should not surprise us when it comes.
- Hard times do not mean we can’t grow and reflect God’s beauty. In fact, its in the toughest of times that He seems to specialize in making Himself known more fully.