Page 230 was one of those days that went well, but seemed like it would never end. As I began my workday, I was greeted by a deer grazing just outside my office window. In the early morning twilight, it was difficult to get some clear photos unless she stood very still while I was taking them. Most of the photos have a sharp focus of the body and a blur of the head, tail, or legs as she slowly went about her grazing. Even when the conditions don’t make for great photos, I still love seeing the deer outside my office.
Next up was the morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the daily cleaning and prep are important; but the most important part of the routine is the prayer that takes place during all of it. Once the building was ready for the day, I did some follow-up to some of yesterday’s tasks before beginning my primary project for the morning — working on the baptistery heater and pump. Getting to the pump and heater can be a chore all of its own. Crawling, and working, under the stage in the auditorium made me think about perspective. When I’ve preached from the stage during a church service, I’ve always wished it wasn’t quite so high. I don’t like the feeling of being so far removed from an audience when I’m speaking and the stage definitely gives a feeling of separation. It’s a big part of why we’ve gone to a smaller, shorter platform in front of the stage. On the other hand, as I worked under the stage, I sure wished it was quite a bit taller! There is not quite enough room to sit up fully and working crouched over most of the morning seems to become more difficult with each passing year. Oh, and I don’t know if you caught it or not, but I’m in this limited space area working on both water and electricity — two things that ought to be kept separate as much as possible. After crawling in and out of the work area a few times to get the right tools, I eventually managed to replace the heating element and clean out the pump to get everything operation again. I ran it for a while and crawled back under periodically to check for leaks before closing up the area and heading out to lunch.
During my lunch break I headed down to Potato Creek and enjoyed some time resting on the pier. The water was a little choppy with not an osprey or eagle in sight. I could hear the calls of the osprey echoing across the waters, but they didn’t seem to be very active where I was. At one point I sat up from soaking in the sun and noticed a bird clinging to the side of a dead tree in the middle of a nearby cove. It was far enough away that I thought it must be one of the larger woodpeckers so I grabbed my long-zoom camera to take a few photos. When I zoomed in on it, I discovered the subject of today’s photo. There was a small branch protruding from this dead tree and one of the young osprey was out surrounded by water where he had a perfect vantage point for an afternoon of fishing. Once again, I thought about my lesson from earlier in the day about perspective. There was my perspective, created by distance, that made me think this osprey was something other than what he really was. There was also its perspective — the one that saw the value in being able to take view your entire surroundings and take note of what is useful and what is potentially dangerous. How often is our opinion created from a distance and rather than “zoom in” and actually talk to those involved in a situation on a day to day basis, we conclude our perspective is accurate because it is the perspective we want to believe? But more important even than “zooming in”, is to step back and seek God’s perspective — the one that has the view from above and can see all of our surroundings to know what is good for us and what is dangerous.
I did manage to catch one photo of a bald eagle soaring high overhead before I packed up my cameras and headed back to work. My evening was spent going through the building to get it cleaned and ready for Sunday. As I was nearing what I thought would be the end of my workday, I came across a puddle of water where it didn’t belong. There was nothing obvious that would have caused the puddle of water to be on the floor, so I began tracking down where it might have come from. It was along a wall, so my first check was the room on the other side of the wall. Sure enough, I could hear it before I even got to the room — a water heater had sprung a leak. It was already late, so I didn’t bother to investigate why it was leaking or where it was leaking from; I just shut the water off to it and began the process of mopping and cleaning up the mess. I had just been in that room about a half hour earlier with no rushing water other than the filling of my mop bucket, so fortunately the water hadn’t spread too far. As I worked on the mess and set out fans to aid the drying process; I thought not about the mess, but about how good it was that I was in the building when the water heater decided its time was up. While I had a small mess to take care of, and will have some work to do with the water heater next week, it was nothing compared to the mess that would have existed had the leak begun an hour later after I would have left the building for the weekend. While I got home later than I had hoped, the thought of what was avoided made me appreciate how small the amount of extra work needed actually was.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Experiencing the beauty of creation up close may not mean the same thing to everyone, but for me it is part of God’s way of saying, “I see you and I love you!”
- God knows your “love language” and even if it is not through the wildlife, if you listen, He has a way of telling you, “I see you and I love you!”
- If you want to increase the value of what you perceive as mundane and routine tasks, incorporate prayer into the midst of them.
- What seems large when you are on top of it may not seem so large when you’re under it and what seems overwhelming when you are under it may not seem so impossible when God places you above it.
- Some situations in life require extra effort and caution because you are working with things that can be dangerous when combined or used incorrectly. People can be that way too.
- Not everything is what it may appear to be from a distance.
- Making judgments from a distance can be dangerous because they are often wrong.
- God’s perspective is always worth looking for and finding.
- Some blessings don’t look a lot like blessings until you consider the alternatives would have been much worse.