Page 287 has been a much needed day of rest. I woke up late and began the day by writing yesterday’s page. As I wrote about my Friday, a new poem showed up in my mind and as I put my fingers to the keyboard, I managed to coax it out. Most of the poems I write begin as the “tip of the iceberg” kind of thing — I see a small piece of it in my mind that looks intriguing and so I begin to examine it only to discover there is much more underneath it than I had ever imagined. Today’s poem, “Not Alone“, was one of them as the opening stanza drew me in with its heaviness and darkness. While not as frequent as they once were, God uses these poems to encourage me and I always pray that as I share them, He also encourages others.
With the writing done for the moment, I checked on Susan and then went out to fire up the pellet grill. We were expecting one of our nephews to stop by with his family for a visit later in the day and he promised that if I forced myself to cook them some BBQ, they would force themselves to eat it. 🙂 So, since I had already cooked the pulled pork and it just needed to be warmed up, I got the grill smoking, prepped the meat, and put three full racks of ribs on to slow-cook for the next 6 hours. Yes, six hours is a lot of time, but the result is worth it. In our fast-paced world, it seems we are always looking for shortcuts and often find ourselves willingly sacrificing quality so that we can have what we want sooner rather than later. Even in a relationship with God, many seek for ways to make it less intrusive in their everyday life and somehow think that if they can condense a lifestyle of prayer and worship into a couple twenty minute segments each week, the result ought to turn out as well as the one who actually lives that lifestyle 24/7. Can I cook ribs in less than six hours? Yes, but I would be embarrassed to share them with others because I know they are not what they could, and should, be. Perhaps that is one reason so many are reluctant to share about their faith — they’ve not put much time and effort into the process in their own life and deep down are embarrassed because they know what they are offering is not what it could, or should be.
Once the ribs were on the grill and the cooking begun, the rest of the day was time to relax and enjoy a quiet day. It was cool and rainy all day, so I didn’t manage any new photos — although by the time they were done, the ribs were tempting. But, the temptation to eat them was much stronger than the temptation to photograph them. 🙂 Speaking of those ribs, the evening was a great time of eating and fellowship with family as we shared together not only the food, but a slice of our lives as well. I did spend a little time going through the photos I took Friday evening at work, and today’s photo is one of the sun as it was dropping into a bank of clouds on the western horizon. It was a great reminder of fall with its burnt orange coloring, and a reminder of God’s faithfulness in setting the universe in place in a way that makes life on earth possible.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- When our “to-do” list seems longer than what is reasonably manageable, I often hear people say, “Oh well, sleep is over-rated.” I’m pretty sure they are wrong.
- Sometimes a day ends with so much weariness that it would not be productive to add one more thing to the task list by feeling I have to write that day’s page right then.
- There is a difference between setting limits and procrastinating.
- What we first see is rarely all there is to a situation.
- Sometimes God reveals the “tip of the iceberg” to us because we are not yet ready for the whole thing but we need encouragement to draw nearer to what He has for us.
- Some things take more time than we would like in order to do them right.
- Compromised methods always lead to compromised results.
- When we spend the time and effort to do something right, we usually have a result that we are proud to share with others.
- While I do write prayer guides and devotional journals, I never write them with the idea that they are shortcuts to a relationship with God. Rather, they are tools to help you spend the time necessary to live in a lifestyle relationship with Him.
- The time we invest in pursuing, growing, and living a relationship with God ought to produce within us something that we are eager to share with others.
- Whether our actions at any given time are faithful or not, God is not caught off-guard and He continues to remain faithful.