Page 284 ended early as my mind and body succumbed to too many restless nights, so I write this page the next morning. There were no new photos taken during the day, so I went way back to find a photo for today’s page. I shot this photo more than ten years ago and then added the scripture to it sometime later. It has always been an interesting photo to me because it was taken at the front end of my entry into digital photography — before I had realized the power that exists in capturing photos of the beauty God surrounds us with. I was on a prayer trip to Colorado Springs — my first trip to any part of the Rocky Mountain range — and I took this photo from the airport parking lot as I was leaving town. It is hard to even imagine now, with the hundreds of photos I will shoot in a short amount of time in similar locations, but it was the only photo I took during that entire trip! It was shortly after that trip that I was at a conference where the participants were challenged to spend an hour in “unstructured worship” — to find a way, or ways, to worship God that wasn’t built around a structured “worship service”. My response to that challenge was a one hour walk spent taking close-up photos of the natural beauty I would find all around me. The worship that took place during that walk was incredible and it ignited within me a hobby that not only allowed me to worship God in the midst of it, but gave me the opportunity to share His beauty and creativity with others — and the rest, as they say, is history. 🙂
Anyhow, long photo introduction which may end up being most of today’s page as it was a quiet day filled with usual tasks and an early ending. During my morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep time, much of my prayer focus was on the upcoming Growing Strong retreat. I prayed for those who have expressed an interest but have not yet committed to it. I prayed for those who are unknown to me that God is at work in their heart and mind, nudging them toward a desire to grow strong in the Lord. I prayed for the opportunities that I’m not even aware of to strengthen others through the work God has given me.
The weather had turned much cooler overnight, so once the building was ready I spent time once again shutting down the air conditioning throughout the building. There is no sense in it running when it is not really needed. Now we’ll see if it can stay off until next summer — I had shut it down once already this fall but then it got too hot for the building to be comfortable without it. The rest of my workday was spent on some record-keeping and creating a retreat promo/invitation video. By the time I left for a late lunch, the parents were already lined up to pick up their students at the end of the school day. At home, I spent the evening relaxing before finally giving in to a tired mind and body by heading to bed and going to sleep at 8:30!
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Knowing the difference between necessary, urgent, and important can be just as valuable as knowing what things are optional.
- When things are done according to a schedule we create, we ought to allow ourselves the freedom to adjust that schedule when wisdom says we ought.
- When God uses an event to begin something new in our life, we can either look back with regret that it didn’t start sooner or look back with gratitude on the beginning.
- Often God begins something in our life by planting a seed long before we even realize what He is up to.
- It is amazing how much we will begin to notice the presence of God when we look for ways to worship Him that are outside of our “normal” worship routines.
- Our worship really does need to be all about God, but He also wants to use it to make Himself known to those around us.
- I need to live every day with an awareness that my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.