Page 282 began under a sky filled with puffy clouds and just enough gaps in them to allow the moon to shine through from time to time. Today’s photo is a trio of early morning shots that seemed to want to be taken as I arrived at work early this morning. After shooting a few photos, I went inside and began my morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep routine to get the week started right. By the time the building was ready and I took the trash out, the clouds had cleared away and the moon was shining brightly in the pre-dawn darkness so I grabbed my camera and took another photo to add to today’s page.
Being Monday, next up on my agenda was settling in with God to put together a prayer guide for next week. As I was praying about ideas for a topic, word came that a snake had been found in one of the offices. My preference is to avoid snakes at all costs, so I asked if there was anyone in the building that didn’t mind snakes that would take care of it. It didn’t seem like that was the case, so I gathered up a broom and dust pan to try to scoop it up and get it outside with as little interaction as possible. By the time I arrived with my supplies, it had already been contained so I took it outside and released it in the woods even though my philosophy is the only good snake is a dead snake.
That interruption was one that took a while to recover from as far as getting back to the mindset of putting a prayer guide together. I considered a variety of topics but none of them really seemed like the right one until I finally settled on discernment. I suppose the craftiness of the serpent in the garden and the deceitfulness of satan in all things was brought to mind by the unwelcomed interruption of the morning. God’s desire is that we have discernment so that we are not deceived by the schemes of the devil. Discernment not only leads us away from the temptations of sin, but it also gives us the insight to choose the best instead of settling for “good enough”.
By the time the prayer guide was written, formatted, and scheduled to post online and email out next week, the workday was nearly over. After taking care of some correspondence and maintenance issues, I headed home for a late lunch. After lunch I took advantage of the summer-like weather and got the power washer out to start giving the house a bath. It seems strange to me to wash the house, but my wife wants it done and it does make it look better — and besides, the water spray on a sunny day with the temperature in the low eighties kind of felt good. After running through the first gallon of wash concentrate, I made a trip to Menard’s to pick up more and then fired up the pellet grill to make some bacon cheeseburgers for dinner. After dinner it was time to relax for a little while before sitting down to write today’s page.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- I enjoy using the ultra-zoom capabilities of my camera and getting close-up moon shots — but sometimes I have to pan out and get a wider view to really appreciate the beauty God provides.
- Some tasks require more of a physical presence than a focused mental one. By adding a prayer focus to those routines, I find greater purpose in things that would otherwise likely seem mundane.
- All of the prayer guides I write come out of my prayer time. There is no “secret formula” and the process is not something I can force and expect anything useful to come of it.
- I have no use for snakes. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a little six inch one trying to find refuge from the cold nights, it doesn’t belong anywhere near me.
- Having a routine is useful in finding my way back into “the zone” when that routine gets interrupted.
- Living with discernment can make the difference between being used greatly by God and settling for “good enough”.
- Sometimes you don’t realize how dirty something is until you start to clean it. That is just as true for our life as it is for the siding on a house.