Page 305 began in the usual weekday way, with the early morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep routine. While most of the songs in my mind that accompany my morning routine are hymns that have been around a while, today’s background track was “God of This City” — at least that’s the title I give it, I can never remember the actual titles. Anyhow, as I thought about the conflict that exists between a God who owns everything and His enemy who is called the prince of this world, I prayed about the difference that would be made if the people of this city lived as if God was their God all the time. But that made me question and pray about my living as if He’s my God all the time. As I continue to pray about this weekend’s Growing Strong retreat, today’s focus was spent praying about how we grow strong in truth.
Once the building was ready for the day, this morning’s maintenance tasks were centered around taking care of some lighting and associated electrical issues. In many ways, the internet is my friend as it helps me to troubleshoot, diagnose, and resolve many issues that I really don’t have the knowledge to do. The key to being able to do many of these things though, is in being teachable and willing to learn. So much of what I do in ministry and service to God is a lot like that also — I don’t really think I have that much expertise, but I am willing to listen, learn, and put into practice the things God teaches me. I’ve heard it said, and believe, that God doesn’t look for ability nearly as much as He looks for availability. God has the ability and power to equip us to do any work He calls us to. In fact, it seems that His work often goes better when I admit I don’t know what I’m doing on my own and do things His way instead.
By early afternoon I dropped my truck off at the shop to get an oil change and headed out to the river with my camera while I waited. With the cold weather we’ve been having, I was surprised at how many flower blossoms I still found to photograph. Today’s photo is of one of those blossoms that I found blooming along the sidewalk during my walk. While small in size, it stood out on this gray, gloomy day with a bright cheeriness that was difficult to miss. It made me think of the old, fun song that said, “Brighten the corner where you are!” We don’t have to be all that big to shine brightly in a world that is often dark and gloomy. After my walk, I stopped at the shop to pick up my truck but it wasn’t finished yet. In fact, they hadn’t even started it. As I waited, one of the service techs came and apologized for the wait with the explanation that there had been an issue with another vehicle they were working on that had caused everything else to be delayed. When my truck was finally finished and I was paying, they apologized again for the lengthy delay and seemed both surprised and grateful when I told them not to worry about it as I understand things happen at times that aren’t planned. I’m not too sure that was a typical reaction they get when things don’t go as scheduled.
After paying my bill, I headed home and spent some time relaxing and doing some follow-up correspondence related to this weekend’s retreat. Our jeep has been giving my wife some problems lately as it doesn’t always want to start. So, while I suspected the battery was going bad, it was back to the internet to see what I could learn. All of the information I could find seemed to confirm my suspicion, so the next step was to find instructions on how to get to the battery and change it as it is under the passenger’s seat. Some of what I found was from people who ended up taking the entire front passenger’s seat out of the vehicle in order to get to the battery. I was hoping not to have to do that, so I kept searching until I found online instructions that made the project sound possible without removing the seat. I followed the instructions and was able to both remove the battery and put a new one in its place. With the new battery installed, the jeep started right up and I drove it around the long block just to make sure it had a full charge. By the time I got that done, it was late so I sat down to type out today’s page.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Song lyrics have a way of residing in my mind so that they appear unannounced at times.
- For God to be the God of this city in a way that He is honored, He first has to be held in honor by the people of this city — myself included.
- God will be God whether we honor Him or not. It just goes better for an individual, city, or nation if they choose to honor Him.
- I always want to do things right the first time — even more so when I’m working on electrical issues.
- Truth, God’s truth, is a necessary component to being strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
- Maintenance isn’t always an exciting thing to do, but it sure beats the problems that come from not doing it. This is true in both vehicle maintenance and the maintenance of our spiritual life.
- I always see more of what I hope to see when I’m actually looking for it.
- It doesn’t take as much to brighten our corner of the world as we might think it would.
- It doesn’t do anyone any good to mistreat someone for a problem they had no control over.
- Sometimes I think design engineers ought to be required to spend time doing maintenance and repairs on the things they design.
- There are often multiple ways of doing the same thing. Finding the most productive way may make things easier, but it doesn’t mean the other ways are necessarily wrong if they end up accomplishing the same thing.