2017: Page 207

Page 207 was another long day as the National Student Conference came to an end and I made my way home.  So long, in fact, that this page is being written the next morning after I slept in. 🙂  The day began early as I was up and started packing before breakfast.  Since it would take two trips anyhow, I dropped a load of stuff off at my truck on my way to breakfast and then finished the packing and moving out after breakfast.  Once I was checked out of the dorm, it was time to start packing up the display and getting it loaded into the truck also.  My plan was to make a stop or two on the way home, so I sat in for the first part of the closing worship session and then loaded up all of my packed up display and began the journey home.

One of the stops that I had tentatively planned on making was at the Pioneer Village in Spring Mill State Park.  This would take me within five miles of a friend whom I believed could use a visit and some on-site prayer for he and his family.  As I worked out arrangements to do that, the Spring Mill stop kind of became secondary as the encouragement stop unfolded.  This friend manages a Christian camp property that was empty of campers when I arrived, as the board had made a decision last year to seek a buyer for the property and no longer operate a camp.  Mark continues to maintain and manage the property and would love to continue doing that should God allow it under the next owner.  Ideally, the buyer would be a ministry that would use, and even further develop, the property and its incredible natural features to equip, train, and serve people in the name of Jesus.  One of the rather unique features of the property is that there are three known caves on the property.  Today’s photo is a beautiful scene of a stream which flows from the mouth of one of the caves.  It made me think of David writing of a river whose streams make the city of God happy.  On a hot and humid day, the cool air flowing from the cave and the clear, cold water flowing down the stream were refreshing and brought about a relief from the day and a gladness of heart.  God’s Word flowing from His mountain into us and through us ought to be a stream which makes glad the hearts of those it flows into.

I did manage to make both stops, although the state park stop was very brief as I wanted to spend adequate time with my friend and also didn’t want it to be horribly late when I got home.  Looking back, I probably could have stayed at the park a little longer without much impact on my arrival time at home as I ended up in rush hour traffic all the way from Bloomington through Indianapolis.  The state park stop was just a quick walk through the Pioneer Village taking some photos and then a walk up the stream, which provides the water to power the mill in the village, to photograph a waterfall scene as this stream also flows from the mouth of a cave.

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

  • Plans can be good, but God’s plans are the ones that matter most.
  • Many times we need to adjust our plans to accommodate the opportunities provided by God.
  • Waiting is difficult for most people, especially if we don’t know the specifics of what we’re waiting on.
  • Sometimes the opportunities God provides seems so clear you would think they would be impossible to miss, and other times it takes deliberate effort to notice an opportunity in the midst of the day’s chaos.
  • It is nearly impossible to begin the next chapter of life until we’ve brought the previous chapter to an end.  It’s those moments between chapters that can be filled with great uncertainty.
  • Closing a ministry so that something new can begin is a difficult decision to make . . . especially when you don’t know what the new beginning looks like.
  • New always follows old.  God says, “Behold!  I am making all things new.”
  • Praying for a friend, or having a friend pray for us, can be the refreshing stream of water that makes our heart be at peace with God.
  • Sometimes when we do what we know we ought to do, God also allows us to do the extras that we want to do.

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