2017: Page 243

Page 243 ended up being another good, long workday filled with the planting of some seeds and the watering of others.  While the planting and watering are often not the most glamorous parts of life, they are necessary if a harvest is to be expected.  Today it was shortly after midnight when I woke up to the sounds of Susan resettling herself after what was apparently some light seizure activity.  After checking on and reassuring her, I went back to sleep until the alarm told me it was time to wake up and head to work.  The morning began with the usual prayer, cleaning, and building prep with a little extra attention paid to the preschool rooms as the preschool was having their student orientation/open house today in preparation for classes to begin next week.  

Once the building was ready, I spent my morning back and forth between the sermon I’m working on for Sunday and some more refining of the Growing Strong spiritual growth retreat concept.  This work may even be a step or two before the planting and watering, but it is important work in order to be prepared for the next steps.  As I worked on narrowing down a location for a late October/early November retreat, I received an email requesting information about the process for a church to host a Growing Strong retreat at their location.  The seeds for the retreats have been planted on my website and now it was time to do some watering.  As I worked on a carefully worded response to give necessary information without it becoming overwhelming, I prayed that God would take these seeds and the watering of them and produce a crop at just the right time.  

As I worked in the office, I noticed some movement outside my window and managed to see a woodpecker come in for a landing on the side of a tree.  I got my camera out and managed one photo, which became today’s photo for the page, before he took off for another location.  I was fascinated because he didn’t come in and land on a branch as most birds do.  Instead he glided straight toward the trunk of the tree and when close enough, reached out with his feet to cling to the tree bark.  While this one didn’t stay around long, I’ve seen them cling to the side of a tree for long periods of time while pecking away at the bark, digging out their next meal.  It made me think of God’s instructions for us to reject what is evil and cling to what is good.  Do I tend to cling tightly enough to what is good that I don’t fall?  Does my clinging to the goodness of God provide enough support that I can find within Him the nourishment that I need?  Or have I become too casual in the way I approach both good and evil?

By the time I finished up work for the day, it was too late for lunch so I went home and had a snack to tide me over until dinner.  The evening has been spent relaxing and doing some more retreat location research before settling down at my desk to write today’s page.

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

  • Some days are spent harvesting, but more days are spent planting and watering — and even more are spent preparing the soil before the planting and watering can begin to take place.
  • Life isn’t about who is better off than me or who is worse off than me — it’s about what am I doing with what God has given me.
  • People ask me how I’m able to preach with nothing more than a word for an outline.  The big answer is God and the sub-answers are prayer and preparation.
  • There is very little that I can make happen, but I can seek God and work to be prepared as much as possible for what He makes happen.
  • My commitment to clinging to what is good often determines if I stay upright or if I fall.
  • To adequately cling to what is good requires that I reject evil — I cannot maintain a grasp on both.


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