Page 189 was a good, long day. I was awake at daybreak to get ready for the day’s activities, and finished out the day driving home after photographing the sunset from the Michigan City lighthouse pier. In between the rising and setting of the sun were a lot of reasons and ways to praise God.
After getting myself and Susan up and ready for the day, we headed down to Bourbon to participate in Bre’s Run and take photos. The event consisted of a 13.1 mile Mini Marathon, a 5K Run/Walk, and a 1 mile Fun Run. I had originally planned on just going down in support of my brother and his family and take photos as the event honored the memory of my niece, Bre, and raised money for the memorial Scholarship Fund. However, with a race theme of “Finish for Bre”, I decided a month or so ago that Susan and I would walk the 5K race. We arrived at the event early and took some photos of the registration lines and the start of the Mini Marathon before it was time for us to hit the road for the 5K. I had no intention of actually running while pushing Susan in her wheelchair, so we settled in for a quick pace for our walk. Even after pausing to take a few photos throughout the race, we finished with a time of 42 minutes for the 5K course — well, officially Susan finished at 42.00 minutes and I finished at 42.05 minutes. 🙂 With the 5K being just over 3 miles, that put us in at an average of about 13.6 minutes per mile — a pretty good pace compared to our usual photo walks. As I offered a prayer at the beginning of the day’s events, I prayed that each person would not only seek to finish their race for Bre that day; but more importantly, each of us would live in such a way that we would finish the race of life in such a way that we honor Bre’s faith and find ourselves prepared for eternity as well.
After our walk was complete, I spent the rest of the morning taking photos and visiting with a few people that had come out for the race. I always find it interesting how often I get comments about how much easier it must be to have Susan’s wheelchair handles for me to “lean on” while we walk. I always assume these are comments from people who have never tried to push a wheelchair or stroller for a long distance — particularly pushing 100 pounds in a wheelchair. It made me think about our tendency to view the grass as greener on the other side of the fence and how easy it is to judge another person’s situation without ever experiencing it. Just because someone can appear to do life with relative ease, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily easy for them nor easier for them than life is for you. The Bible says that God sends the rain on the just and the unjust alike and depending on your need, that same rain that is a blessing to you may be a hardship to someone else — and vice versa.
After the race activities were over, Susan and I stopped for lunch on our way home and then relaxed for a couple hours in the afternoon before deciding to head to Lake Michigan to take some sunset photos. It was a beautiful evening when we arrived at the beach as the sun hung low in the sky preparing for its descent over the horizon. It is interesting how quickly the photo count adds up when each moment seems photo-worthy. As the sun dropped below the western horizon, we walked off the pier and was greeted by the scene in today’s photo as the moon was rising over the Michigan City Port. It was a good reminder as we finished the day, that everything has a time and a season according to God’s plan. Even the things in life that get messed up for one reason or another are able to be used by God to work together in a way that can be for our eternal good.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- What you put into a day will often reflect in what you get out of it.
- Some beauty, like the sunrise and sunset, grab out attention and almost demand to be noticed.
- Most of the beauty that God has placed around us requires that we pay attention in order to experience it.
- Observing is nice, but it rarely allows us to capture the true fullness of something in the way that participating does.
- No, pushing 100 pounds in a wheelchair is not easier than just walking; but when that 100 pounds is a loved one, it is more enjoyable than walking alone.
- It is good to finish a race, or some other event or task, to honor and remember a loved one. It is even better to finish a life in a way that honors not only that person, but God.
- For me, watching a sunset is a good reminder that God is still in control and that He desires for us to find beauty and hope in the midst of our daily struggles.