Page 310 was the first day back to work after the “fall back” time change. It seems like whether or not you like the back and forth of daylight savings time each spring and fall, it doesn’t take too much effort to find an “expert study” that supports your position. In a culture full of experts, each seems to add to the divide in so many areas — instead of listening to one another and learning how we’re each affected by the things that go on, we find an expert that we agree with and try to use them as a hammer to destroy the views of those who don’t agree with us. I’m not a fan of daylight savings time, although once I’m through the transition period each spring and fall it’s not really a big deal to me. Sometimes we tend to make big deals out of things that really aren’t that significant and then we ignore the things in our life, and around us, that carry eternal significance. We will fight and argue about the smallest of differences in opinions with one another while turning a blind eye to the sin which so easily entangles us.
The background track playing in my mind as I went about my usual morning work tasks was “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. I suppose I find comfort in the words of this hymn because it speaks of the unchanging nature of God. Life is filled with change as the process of growth itself requires that we change. Sometimes I fear we get so used to things in our world changing at random and in ways that may or may not benefit us, that we are hesitant to trust God to be true to His Word. Yet even when we are unfaithful, He remains faithful. When Paul writes that “love never fails”, he knows this to be true because God is love.
Once the building was ready for the day it was strange to be taking the trash out in the daylight, but that will gradually change again over the next few months. As I sat down to spend time with God as I worked on the prayer guide for next week, I glanced through a book that our church will be using throughout this month as we focus on stewardship. As I looked through the book, I was reminded of God’s ownership of everything and of our role as managers, or stewards, of the things He entrusts to us. Many times if you mention stewardship in a church setting, it can clear a room faster than you can say, “take out your wallet.” In our minds stewardship is so often equated with, and confined to, money that we miss the larger picture of our role compared to God’s ownership. As these thoughts roamed my mind, I spent time in prayer and God’s Word considering what He says about stewardship and eventually the outline for next week’s prayer guide on stewardship began to form. The rest of the workday was spent writing out the daily topics and corresponding prayer points, then formatting and scheduling the prayer guide to be published on Sunday.
After work I went home and had a late lunch before deciding to head to Potato Creek for a late afternoon walk with my family. While there has been a good deal of color change in the trees that finally make it look like fall, it was surprising how much green still remains. As we walked the trails, our journey was accompanied by the songs of a variety of birds. Many were joyful, happy sounding songs and a few were harsh, angry sounding calls — perhaps warning others of our presence. One of the birds that caught my eye more than my ear, was a flicker who made today’s photo because of its aerobatics in trying to pluck berries from the vines hanging from the trees. Yes, this bird was clinging upside down to a vine because it was that committed to getting as many of the berries as it could. It made me think about how committed I am to obtaining the blessings and promises of God. As I read His Word, do I cling to His promises, and His laws, with no intention of letting go until I have obtained a taste of His goodness?
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Finding an expert to prove your point doesn’t necessarily make you right.
- Our perception of how a thing is will usually influence what we believe about it.
- You will usually see what you are looking for, even if that isn’t the only thing that could be seen.
- There are things that matter. From an eternal perspective, changing time twice a year isn’t one of those things.
- It is easy to get so wrapped up in causes that make no eternal difference in the lives of people that we miss the opportunities we have to see lives changed for eternity.
- Godly stewardship isn’t just about money. On one level it is about money, but it is so much more than that.
- Godly stewardship requires that we have an accurate view of who is the owner and who isn’t — God is, you and I aren’t.
- Living with the knowledge that God owns everything ought to change how you and I use the things He has entrusted to us.
- Sometimes when we pick up God’s Word we are satisfied with the truths that are easy to glean from its pages without much effort on our part.
- God wants us to dig deeper and cling to His Word so that we would obtain the full measure of the nourishment that He provides.