Page 240 was the start of another work week, so it was back to the Monday morning routine. After the usual prayer-filled bathroom cleaning and building prep, I sat down to write yesterday’s page. Sometimes the pages are more difficult to write the next day and other times the night’s sleep helps give greater focus and makes the writing easier. It seems that most of the time I want a routine that operates according to a preset formula — but life doesn’t seem to work that way. God wants me to not only live life, but to pay attention as I do so. A mindless routine might be easier, but it would also make it far easier to miss the important lessons and tasks that He has for me. So, even with something as basic as making a written account of a day of life, I continue to learn to seek and pursue God with a heart that listens and responds to Him.
The rest of the morning was spent on the writing, and the preparing for publishing, of next week’s prayer guide. I began the day with a pretty good idea of what the topic would be for this next prayer guide as I spent a good part of yesterday’s drive time thinking and praying about it. With next weekend being Labor Day Weekend, I wanted to do a focus on our work, or labor, from God’s perspective. As I began to put the prayer guide together, I thought about groups of people that might be tempted to dismiss it as not applicable to them — people who are not “working”, meaning they are not employed for whatever reason. Some may be retired and believe their working days are over. Some may be children and think their working days are yet to come. Some may live with circumstances that make employment impossible. Some may choose the work of parenting over being employed. Whatever reasons a person may come up with for thinking a prayer guide about labor is not for them, nothing could be further from the truth. While the good work that God created in advance for each of us to do may vary greatly, there is a work for each of us to do in His kingdom — the body grows as each part does its work. My labor that honors God is very different than my daughter’s labor which honors God and both are likely very different from your labor which honors God. The honoring God part has much more to do with the “how” of our labor than the “what” of our labor. It was a fun prayer guide to put together and by early afternoon I had it formatted and scheduled to be sent out via email and published on my website this coming Sunday.
Once the work on the prayer guide was finished I turned my attention to more work on the spiritual growth retreat concept I am working on. I know there will come a time soon when I will need to step out in faith and schedule the first retreat, but that is a somewhat scary thing to do considering the commitment I will have to make up front for a location with no idea who or how many, if anyone, will want to participate. The content for the retreat idea seems to be coming together well, my biggest struggle seems to be in finding peace in the right combination of location and cost. Location and cost seem to be related and for someone as “frugal” as me, finding a proper balance in those two elements can be a bit nerve-wracking. So, I continue to pray and to research as I seek God for the time and courage to set a place and time then to trust Him to provide the people.
When the workday was done, I headed home to relax a bit and work my way through the photos from our mini getaway. By early evening, I took a camera outside to capture some of the beauty God provides. Tonight’s feature was a pair of finches who were greatly enjoying both the sun and the sunflowers. Today’s photo is of one of the finches just after it plucked a sunflower seed loose and looked up to face the camera. Well, it may have just been eating and not paying any attention to the camera, but I can still tell myself it was posing for me. 🙂
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Prayer can transform mundane tasks into mountain-moving tasks — and sometimes the mountain is the person praying.
- Prayer and faith are so intertwined that the teaching from James that faith without works is dead can also be applied to prayer and God’s desire that it changes us.
- Many times it seems that God forces me out of my comfort zones of routines so that I pay more attention to Him.
- Our work matters to God — even when it isn’t what others call work.
- Every part of the body of Christ has a purpose and a work to do in order for the body to grow in a healthy manner.
- God defines the work each part of the body ought to do and its value comes from Him, not from how others view it.
- Sometimes it is difficult to sort through my own insecurities to determine if God has me waiting or if the waiting is because of my doubt.
- God provides beauty all around me. It is usually up to me whether I’m paying enough attention to notice.