Page 279 has been a rainy, dreary day. Today’s photo was actually taken late last night before I went to bed as I had waited to see if the full moon would break free of the clouds in the eastern sky before it was overtaken by the expanding rain clouds of the west. I did manage to catch a brief gap between the major clouds before I called it a night and got some sleep.
The rain began overnight and continued as I drove to work early this morning. There is usually a freshness in the air during a good rain, but this morning it was not raining heavy enough to clean the air — in fact, the heaviness of the air and wind direction combined to welcome me to work with the smell of dog food in the air from the factory a mile or so away. It is not often that smell reaches my workplace, but I don’t find it pleasant when it does. It is interesting how certain conditions create specific stimuli that catch the attention of one or more of our senses. The vast majority of circumstances may remain constant, but one or two variables make all the difference. I suspect there is a lesson in there about why we react in certain ways sometimes and different ways other times when there are only small differences in the surrounding circumstances.
My morning consisted of the usual prayer, cleaning, and building prep tasks along with taking care of a variety of small maintenance tasks. As I went about my work, my mind continued to refine and simmer the sermon content for Sunday. Once early afternoon rolled around, we ran a fire drill in the building. The idea, as with any drill or practice, is to become accustomed to what needs done in a particular situation so that if it occurs for real, there is a natural response based on previous practices. In a lot of ways, that is a big part of the concept behind the teaching I do focused on developing a lifestyle of prayer. When we live a lifestyle of prayer, it is much easier to turn to God in all situations — even those that are extremely difficult.
After the fire drill, I needed to pick up some cleaning supplies so I took a break from the building for a couple hours. While I was out, I stopped for a late lunch/early dinner combo and then came back to work to begin the Friday evening cleaning and prep to get the building ready for Sunday. Something has put me on edge recently, so the empty building wasn’t so peaceful tonight. It was a struggle to ward off the anxiety attacks as the normal noises of the building sounded extra loud as I went about my nighttime tasks. My solution was a combination of living out that lifestyle of prayer and running through escape scenarios in my mind — I suspect the prayer was the much more reassuring choice between the two. With the building ready, I sit and relax as I type out today’s page and prepare to share it.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- I enjoy photographing the moon and noticing the beauty that it contains whether viewed up close through a zoom lens or viewed simply by gazing at the night sky.
- Sometimes a heaviness of spirit can trap an unpleasant attitude within us from being cleansed away as it ought to be.
- Little things are important — they can be the difference between enjoying something and being repulsed by it.
- It is often the little irritants that I respond most drastically to and usually have little idea why I responded in the way I did.
- When we practice meditating on the Word of God, it refines our character.
- It is a good idea to be comfortable calling out to God when times are good so that it is a natural thing to do when times aren’t so good.