2017: Page 199

Page 199 has been a busy day filled with a variety of different tasks.  So busy in fact, that today’s photo is one I took last night as I didn’t take any today.  I chose the photo for the page because it reminds me of the scenes from the movie, Field of Dreams, when the baseball players from a previous generation would come and go through the cornfield surrounding a baseball diamond.  As I watched this deer walk across the recently harvested wheat field, she turned as if to say goodbye just prior to quietly entering the field of corn to slip completely out of sight.  The movie gave us the familiar phrase, “If you build it, they will come.”  If you’ve ever followed the plot of the movie, you discover that it isn’t “they” that the phrase is really about; it is more about the “he” that will come — the main character’s father.  While it has been a long time since I’ve watched the movie, what I still remember is the incredible focus on building this ball field in the middle of a cornfield simply to follow an unrelenting dream.  

As I began my day, this photo was still in my mind as it was the last I had taken last night.  It made me think about how focused I am; not in following a dream, but in following the call of Jesus to take up my cross daily and follow Him.  Living as a follower of Jesus isn’t always easy, but many times the difficulty isn’t as much overcoming hard things as it is not becoming distracted from the pursuit.  Life, and our enemy in particular, has a way of keeping us busy with things that can easily become major distractions even if they aren’t bad things.  So, my day began with a reminder to stay focused and to pursue God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength — and to love others as I love myself.  

After my morning reminder and quiet time with God, I checked messages and found that the proof copy for my “A is For Animals” book is due to arrive on Thursday.  I also had a message with information about the National Student Conference coming up this weekend, so I spent part of the morning taking care of some of the details for my participation and teaching at the conference.  I’ll be driving to the conference, so part of my plan for today was to take my truck in to the service center to see if they could find and take care of an annoying vibration rattle that has appeared in the last week or so.  As I got ready to leave to go do that, I thought I would try once again to narrow down where the sound was coming from so crawled under my truck looking for anything that was loose.  At first nothing was obvious, but after a closer examination I discovered a loose clamp that after tugging on it came off in my hands.  It seems as if it had broken and was no longer holding a small heat shield in place on the exhaust system.  I needed to also pick up some maintenance supplies for work, so instead of the service center I made a trip to Lowe’s where I picked up supplies for work and also bought a stainless steel clamp for two dollars.  Eventually, after letting the exhaust system cool, I put the clamp on and it sounds like the noise that had become irritating is completely gone!

In the meantime, while the truck was cooling down, I spent the rest of the workday taking care of some maintenance issues inside the building.  Part of the supplies I had picked up were for outside projects, but since none of those projects were of immediate need, and it was so hot and humid, I kept busy inside for the afternoon.  After my work was done for the day, I had a very late lunch and then went home and took a nap.  Eventually I got up and spent time working at going through some of the photos I took Sunday during a trip to Lake Michigan.  I came back from the afternoon and evening along the lake with 634 photos!  If I could learn to hold my camera level the going through the photo process wouldn’t take so long, but most of them require that I straighten the photo so the horizon is horizontal in the picture.  Eventually my eyes got tired of going through the photos so I paused that project for another time while I turned my attention to writing today’s page before calling it a day and heading to bed.

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

  • Being busy can be good and it doesn’t have to distract us from the things which are important if we keep our eyes fixed beyond the things that make us busy.
  • Sometimes, perhaps more often than we think, we experience a scene that can remind us of important lessons if we are paying attention.
  • God wants us to be built into a dwelling for His presence.  If we allow Him to build us into that dwelling, He will come and live within us.
  • Jesus says that if I pursue Him with my whole heart, He will be found.
  • Waiting can be difficult but is often both unavoidable and useful.
  • Sometimes a careful examination of a problem helps us find a solution that we hadn’t thought of.
  • When we find our life out of level, we need to be willing to put whatever effort is necessary into allowing God to restore the balance we ought to have.

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