After a long day of travel wrapping up our fall break adventure, page 296 began very early as I met the pest control service tech while the building was empty. Susan had a seizure before I left for work, and as I was finishing up with the pest control rounds I got a message that she had another one after I left and needed to sleep it off. While the preschool would be back in session, the school was still off for fall break so I finished up what needed done at the building and then headed home to switch places with my wife so she could be here for preschool and I could keep an eye on Susan.
With the change-up in routine and location, it was a little more difficult to settle into the Monday morning routine that I still hoped to get accomplished even from home. Once Susan was settled downstairs, I settled in with God to put together the prayer guide for next week. As I considered a variety of topics, it seemed that each one that came to mind ended up being one I had done within the past year. In considering topics, then looking to see if I had written a prayer guide on the topic yet, I realized that this will mark the end of 5 years of writing weekly prayer guides — or perhaps begin the sixth year as I began the written weekly prayer focus in 2012 with what was then called “A November to Remember”. It seemed like a fitting title at the time — to focus a month on daily prayer using a weekly guide to help people get started each day. As the title may suggest, I didn’t plan on it turning into what it has, but God took that seed and has grown something larger than I ever would have considered. Now the weekly prayer guide that began as a resource for one church as is sent out to over 200 email subscribers and posted on the Impact Prayer Ministry website where it is viewed around the world on a regular basis. Wow, God!!
Anyhow, that little side trip down memory lane led me to writing a prayer guide about some things we ought to remember. I’ve written one in the past about remembrance, but this was different. Not only did God give instruction throughout scripture on how His people ought to remember Him and His mighty works through special days and memorials, He also gives instruction to each of us on some things we ought to remember. God knows our tendency to forget things so it was He who instituted monuments and even lists — remember the ten commandments? I know there are times when a person will come up and tell me something they need done, and if I can’t drop what I’m doing and get to their need right away, my response is always a very standard “write it down and put it in my box”. It’s not a brush-off or a way of avoiding what needs done, but rather an acknowledgement that I need a reminder or by the time I finish what I’m currently working on I will have forgotten the new request.
Anyhow, it was late by the time I finally settled on the topic I believed God would have me use, so by the time it was written it was already early afternoon and time to fire up the pellet grill to cook some bacon cheeseburgers for lunch. As they cooked, I worked at the formatting and scheduling of the prayer guide to be ready for Sunday — otherwise it would have been far too easy to get sidetracked by lunch and forget to finish up the project. After lunch, it was time to call it a day, as far as most of my work tasks, and begin the process of going through the photos from our fall break adventure. I ended up taking more than a thousand photos so, with a few short breaks, the rest of the day was spent doing some minor adjusting to them and deleting a handful of them that just didn’t turn out no matter how much editing I tried. 🙂 The photos were a good reminder of the value of spending time as a family deliberately noticing the incredible creativity of God in the midst of a variety of creation.
With no new photos taken during the day, I went back to one from the lighthouse we stayed in during our trip. The lighthouses are always a reminder to me of the need to let our light shine so that people would see God working through us. The light not only served as a warning of potential danger, but it served to aid in navigation so those on the water could find a safe passage to where they needed to be. Our light needs to include an element of warning, but it also must be used to direct people safely to where they need to be.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- It is important to me to be able to have a routine in which I find balance while allowing for breaks in that routine in order to find rest and variety.
- The best routines need to be flexible enough to allow for the needs of people.
- The family functions best when it works together to care for the needs of each member. Knowing this makes me pray even more for those who find themselves leading a family alone.
- Triage– the ability to organize and prioritize based on urgency of need — while most often used as a medical term, is an important concept to understand and practice in everyday life.
- Sometimes just doing something faithfully week after week or day in and day out, has a way of accumulating results we could never plan for.
- When I sit down on a Monday morning to write a prayer guide, God doesn’t expect me to write enough for the next 5 years — He only wants me to do the task that is in front of me today.
- For me, remembering isn’t nearly as difficult as remembering the right things.
- Reminders are a good thing as long as we pay attention to them.
- Photos serve as good reminders for me; not only of things I’ve done and places I’ve been, but of God’s blessings and presence wherever I go.
- At times, people say my photos are a gift. I often view the scene that I photograph as God’s gift to me and because of that I believe I am responsible to share it.
- Most gifts we receive from God are meant to be shared so that the entire body is built up.
- My light ought to shine in a way that warns people of the danger that satan wants to draw them into.
- My light also ought to shine to guide people to the safety that is found in Jesus.