2017: Page 223

Sometimes a day has a moment or two that seem to define it — at least until you step back and consider the bigger picture of the day.  Page 223 was like that for me.  The day began early as I’m trying to get back into a school year routine.  Being a Friday, I knew it would be a long day so my plan was to take care of the early morning tasks then get most of the mowing done before taking an afternoon break prior to the evening tasks of getting the building cleaned and ready for Sunday.  The key words in that very long sentence are “my plan”.

The day began as expected with the early morning cleaning and picking up the trash left behind from the previous day.  Once the building was ready for the start of the school day, I turned my attention to a battery issue with our alarm system.  After leaving yet another message with the company that installed the system, and getting no response to any of the messages, I tracked down access to the alarm panel so I could get the details on the battery installed and begin the research to track down a replacement.  It didn’t take long to find a replacement that I could pick up locally by noon, so I ordered the battery then went out to begin the mowing for the day.

Mowing can be relaxing for me, but it can also be a time when I “think too much”.  With school back in session, I try to be more deliberate about where I’m mowing at any given time during the day.  My plan was to mow the outlying areas while school was in session, then mow around the building after school was out for the day.  I began in the ball field and noticed a deer standing in the back corner of the field where she could both watch me and have a quick escape into the woods if she felt threatened.  As I mowed, my mind wandered to how difficult it is being different.  I’ve always been different in a way that doesn’t fit most social models all that well.  Most of the time I’m okay with that, but every once in a while I think it might be nice to actually fit in and belong somewhere — then I remember the sacrifice of conviction that is generally required to do so, and I just can’t bring myself to accepting what I know is wrong just so I can fit in.  With more information readily available now than ever before, I have a better idea regarding the source of my being so different but that doesn’t usually answer the “why?”.  Most of the time I can see how God uses the differences in how my mind processes information to accomplish great things in spite of me, but I also know I carry with me the great pain of rejection often because I don’t have the ability to play the game of social acceptance.  Anyhow, this isn’t where I thought this page would go when I began the writing, so on with the day. 🙂

After getting the ball field mowed, it was time to go pick up the alarm system battery, as well as get fuel for the mower and lunch for me.  Once I was back from running errands, it was back on the mower for the afternoon.  As school was letting out for the day, I took a break and found a message on my answering machine about some options in servicing a piece of equipment that hasn’t been operating well.  After returning that call and ordering the parts we decided would be best for the situation, it was back out to finish the mowing around the building.  I’ve always enjoyed mowing and one of the reasons is the beautiful look that a freshly mowed lawn has.

This really has been a productive day and being reminded of that is one of the reasons that the writing of these pages is important to me.  Without the writing, it is the remainder of the day that tends to stick in my mind yet looking back it was such a small part of the day that it shouldn’t be given as much space in my mind as it wants to take up.  As I set about to begin my Friday evening cleaning and building prep for the weekend, I was warned not to be too shocked at what I would find in parts of the building — that the issues were being addressed and would be taken care of.  As the problems were described, it wasn’t what was actually done that caused my frustration level to rise, but the fact that people were so unwilling to listen and follow very simply and straight-forward instructions.  Anyhow, I knew it wouldn’t do me any good to start cleaning in the state of mind I was in, so I headed out to get some supper and spend some time away from the building to let my mind process the information in a way that would allow me to finish my work for the day.  After eating, I came back to an empty and secure building with lights left on — another one of those little pieces that wanted to define my day.  Even with frustration mounting, the work needed done so I set about taking care of my evening tasks and eventually had the cleaning done and the building ready for Sunday.  Just as in the mowing, there is great satisfaction to be had in looking at the completed task and taking in the sight and smell of freshly cleaned bathrooms and floors.

Today’s photo is one I took late Thursday night as a storm rolled by.  It made me think of the storms of life that I face and how dark they can appear until even a small amount of light illuminates everything.  The storms of life may be dark and powerful but the light of Jesus is brighter and even more powerful than the storms. 

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

  • When I allow one event to define my entire day I typically have allowed the bigger picture of what God was doing throughout the day to be hidden, or even stolen, from me.
  • It is good to have times to think and reflect.
  • It is critical to take every thought captive during those times of thinking and reflecting.
  • Sometimes being different is a good thing and sometimes it feels like a great burden.
  • Being who God created you to be is more important than either being different or fitting in.
  • Sometimes a battery has been drained and recharged so much that it no longer functions.  I suspect that we are a lot like that which is why God says that He will put within us a new heart and a new spirit.
  • Visible results of work can be very encouraging, but faith is being able to see the results of God’s work even when they are not yet visible.
  • I wonder how often my failure to follow simple instructions frustrates others . . . or frustrates God?
  • The storms of life will come but the darkness never has the power to overcome the light.
  • Even though my mind did not think so as the day ended, it was a very productive day.

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