2017: Page 228

Page 228 found me continuing to settle into a school year routine — or at least the fall version of one.  Some mornings I am rewarded for starting my workday early, some mornings I am doubly rewarded, and today I was at least triply rewarded!  As I began my day, the moon was hanging brightly in the sky and I was able to get some good photographs of it as I left home this morning.  When I arrived at work, there were two deer grazing in the morning twilight and they continued their early breakfast as I got a camera out and walked up the hill to photograph them.  Today’s photo is one of them as she looked up from her eating to bid me a good morning.  As I shot a few photos of the deer, the sun began to light up the eastern sky with a variety of morning colors that made the entire scene look bright and cheerful.  There were some light, fluffy clouds scattered about the sky so I anticipated that the sunrise would be a beauty.  I went inside and gathered up the trash, and was able to get some sunrise photos when I took the trash out.

Once the building was ready for the day, I made a cup of coffee and checked on messages and my  to-do list.  As I worked on my morning projects, a lot of my prayer focus was about the lack of peace in our nation.  It’s as if we’ve thrown out all hope for peace and have turned to using hatred and violence as our only response to the hatred and violence of others.  As I worked and prayed, pieces of the song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, began to float through my mind.  As I paused between work projects, I looked up the song lyrics with a focus on the line that says, “And in despair I bowed my head; there is no peace on earth, I said.”  What I discovered was that the song was missing two verses of the poem as originally written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  The missing verses make it clear that the feeling of despair was brought about by the hatred and violence of the Civil War.  While hatred and violence continues to do its best to drown out the message of “peace on earth, good-will to men”, the final verse of Longfellow’s poem is still true — “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.”  Peace on earth and good-will to men will never be accomplished through returning hatred for hate or evil for evil; rather it will come about by turning to God for a complete transformation of heart, mind, and soul.

I did manage to get the floor scrubber put back together today and get the batteries all charged up so it is ready to use.  I followed that project up with some phone calls regarding parts that had not yet been shipped, which I no longer need, and then headed home for a late lunch.  After lunch I went through the final groupings of the Upper Peninsula trip photos and shared the highlights from those.  I rested a little bit, then went out on the porch before supper to look for hummingbirds, but it seemed they didn’t care for the warmer temperatures of today.  As I finish writing today’s page, I look back in wonder and thanksgiving for the things God allowed me to see today.

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

  • I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way, but I view the opportunity to see the beauty of creation as blessings from the hand of God.
  • When I consider how far away it is, I am always amazed at the detail of the moon which can be seen when there are no obstacles to get in the way.
  • My demeanor and gentleness often appear to be the greatest factors in whether the deer view me as a friendly visitor or as a threat.  The same is likely true for people.
  • I never get tired of seeing a sunrise.
  • Responding to hatred and violence with our own version of hatred and violence will generally make things worse.
  • It is always good to be reminded that God is still God and He is not asleep on the job.
  • God’s mercies are new every morning.  It is up to us whether we will see and accept them.

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