With summer rapidly disappearing in the rear view mirror, I’m trying to get back into a school year routine. It is difficult because it doesn’t seem right to start school in early August, but since I don’t have a say in those decisions, page 215 began with a morning walk-through of the building and cleaning of the bathrooms. The students don’t start until next week so it’s not up to full speed yet, but it seems I am starting out tired. Fortunately, I have a short break planned before the students start school so hopefully I can unplug and reset my mind and body to prepare for the fall.
After the building was ready for the day, I checked messages and did some more work on the Growing Strong retreat concept. Eventually I took a break to get my driver’s license renewed and that was actually easier and took less time than I had anticipated. I even passed my eye test which, considering my increasing need for reading glasses, I was a little concerned about. I don’t have problems reading road signs or the instrument panel in my truck, but the closer up things get to be somewhat fuzzy without the readers.
As I thought ahead, I realized I would likely be without internet access on Monday so I spent most of the remainder of the workday spending time with God to put together the next prayer guide. I have one that I keep wanting to write about integrity, but so far God keeps moving me in a different direction when I sit down with Him to write. Ironically, I think the problem is that I have specific issues that I would be tempted to address instead of listening to God for His view in order to actually write it with integrity. So, as I spent time wrestling with God, I eventually settled on the topic of living with strength. God calls us to be strong, but He also gives us the way that is possible — be strong in the Lord. Living with strength is not so much about us becoming more independent as it is about us becoming more dependent on God.
By the time the prayer guide was written, it was mid-afternoon and time to call it a day and get a late lunch. The formatting and scheduling of the prayer guide for email and the website will wait for another time, but it was good to get the writing of it finished early so it is not something on my mind when I need to disconnect for a time. After lunch, I headed home where I followed up on a couple messages and then took a nap. I don’t know why I’m still so tired and whether my discouragement comes from the tiredness or my tiredness comes from the discouragement. Either way, God’s reminder for me today was that my strength needs to come from Him and that He is both willing and able to supply it.
Today’s photo is one I took through my office window as I worked on the prayer guide. The cardinals had been singing for much of the day before they finally landed in a visible spot. The scene made me think of the old saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” I don’t know what one in the hand would actually be worth, but it was priceless to me to see and hear this pair as they chased each other throughout the brush. Sometimes it would appear that he was chasing her and other times it looked like she was chasing him. I think they were just enjoying life together as neither one made any effort to quit the chase or leave the area.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- My mind has a tough time releasing things that I have no control over, but holding onto them makes me weary.
- I think there is a good tired and a not so good tired. Sometimes not getting the rest you need when you reach the good tired stage can lead to the not so good tired.
- The Sabbath-rest is God’s idea and I don’t think we usually give it the attention it deserves.
- Sometimes we need help to be able to see clearly. God gives us His Word, His Spirit, and His people to help us when things appear out of focus.
- It can be an easy thing to manipulate God’s Word to promote our own agenda — it is, however, never a good or right thing to do so no matter how right we think we are.
- Strength done Gods way is not so much about us becoming stronger as it is about God’s strength becoming more known through us.
- Two birds in the bush can be worth way more than a single bird in the hand when they remind you of God’s incredible care and love.