Page 258 has been a long day, so long that I’m actually starting to write this page just after midnight so technically the day is over. 🙂 It is a Friday and I knew I would have evening work to do so I set the alarm even earlier than usual so I would have the building ready before sunrise. After my morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep routine I headed down to Potato Creek with my kayak to see what the sunrise would look like over the water. I had just put my kayak in the water during the twilight before the sunrise and I sensed, more than noticed, movement overhead. I did not even have my camera out and ready yet, so today’s photo is the result of grabbing a camera out of the bag, turning it on, and shooting at whatever setting it happened to be on. This is a photo that I cropped after the fact because what you see is the top third of the photo that was taken. The bottom two thirds was just empty sky. In the rush to get a shot off, while staying in the kayak, my aim was just a bit off and I was willing to settle for whatever I could get. Sometimes in life we notice an opportunity that entices us to take our chances and jump into it fully whether we are prepared or not. We think if we don’t go for it now, we’ll never have another chance. And yes, sometimes that is true and it takes great wisdom and faith to know a particular moment is the only one like it. But more often, we do have time to “count the cost” and be prepared to not just take our chances at a suitable outcome, but to be prepared for a good and perfect outcome. A little later, after I had made my cameras more accessible and had adjusted the settings to accommodate the conditions, I was able to take some great photos of the bald eagle. Knowing what I needed to do and being prepared to do it, provided a much better outcome than the unprepared shot.
After spending some time on the lake photographing the sunrise, the bald eagle, and other wildlife that were out on the lake, I loaded up the kayak and headed back to work. My first tasks were to catch up on email and messages, then do some follow-up with some of the retreat groundwork. I also had a door in the building that needed worked on, so I set about trying to get it working again. It was a pocket door that slides into a wall and my first thought was that it had come off its track. As I got to looking, I discovered that wasn’t the case — instead, one of the hangers that suspend the door from the track had pulled out of the door. It was going to be tricky but I kept at it and by early evening the door had been taken down, the hanger refastened to the door, and the door rehung in a functioning state.
I still had the cleaning to do to get the building ready for Sunday, but I was tired. So, I sat at my desk with a Dr Pepper for a while and went through some of the pictures I had taken in the morning. I considered just going home and coming back early Sunday morning to do the cleaning, but eventually I had rested enough that I decided it would be easier to just get it done while I was there. The cleaning went well but because of the late start, it had a late finish. Earlier in the day I had stopped by the grocery store to get some fried chicken for dinner and had noticed they had pork butts on sale. These are what I put on the pellet grill for some incredible pulled pork, so after the building was ready, I picked up some pork at the store and then fired up the pellet grill to begin the 12 hour slow-cook/smoke process. It made for a late night but I know it will be worth it when my family sits down to enjoy the pork and when I don’t have to wake up extra early on Sunday.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Some days you just know more will be required from you than on other days so the best thing you can do is to plan for how you can enjoy it.
- Sometimes we miss the “perfect opportunity” because we’re not ready.
- Sometimes we settle for what we get because it is easier than planning for something better.
- Sometimes what we get is just one step in the process of God preparing us for something better.
- When we count the costs of being a disciple of Jesus, we discover that our greatest effectiveness comes when we surrender fully to Him.
- We don’t have to have all the answers before following a path that seems right, but we ought to at least make sure the one we’re following is trustworthy.
- Our greatest preparation for any great task of life is to align our self fully with God.
- Some things are difficult to do but they become impossible to do if we don’t keep at it.
- I really enjoy some good slow-cooked pork but like many of the lessons from today, that only happens by planning ahead and taking the time to do it right.