Page 311 has been a full day that began with usual morning work tasks and concluded with three Lemler boys telling stories — the “boys” being my dad and his two brothers. 🙂 In between were a variety of tasks that kept my busy all day. I began the day early with the typical prayer, cleaning, and building prep tasks with today’s soundtrack in my mind being “Trust and Obey”. Those two concepts do kind of go hand-in-hand, don’t they? As James puts it, “Faith without works is dead.” Trust and faith are definitely intertwined, but each of them are easy to say that you have but takes much more work to show that you have them. It is difficult to obey someone fully that you don’t really trust, and it is equally difficult to say with a straight face that you trust someone when you are not willing to do what they say. So when I choose to disobey God, my actions tend to say more about my trust of Him than my words do.
Anyhow, as I went about my morning tasks, this internal soundtrack kept reminding me to “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!” Since God has given me nearly 150 poems to write in the past few short years, I often tell people they are truly God’s gift to me as it is not something I ever set out to do and I don’t read poetry and had never written poetry until that cold December day in 2013. But as God has been giving me soundtracks in my mind lately, I realize I have been exposed to poetry all my life through the hymns that I have embedded in my mind through the consistent singing of them. I’m not one that blames music, videos, or games for the violent behavior of people, but I do know from experience that what you continually fill your mind with will eventually influence your choices and what comes out in your actions.
My work last week on my wife’s car did not end up resolving the issue it has of not starting unless it feels like it, so after she made numerous unanswered calls and unreturned messages with the local Jeep dealer, I called the dealer in Niles, Michigan and their service department actually answered their phone and talked to me. I had a couple recall notices on the Jeep and one of them was to resolve a variety of fuel flow issues, including one that would make it not start at times. Only time will tell if these recall repairs took care of the problem, but everyone I talked with at the dealership service department were very friendly and helpful. When they found out my plans to go out walking while I waited on the vehicle, they even gave me a ride to the far end of the river walk trail so I could work my way back along the river to the dealer. It was a beautiful morning to walk and take photos and by the time I returned to the dealer they had finished the recall work and could not duplicate the starting issue. The entire process left me feeling good about this place of business, and even if it turns out this round of work didn’t resolve the issue, their actions and communication went a long way toward establishing a certain level of trust.
All of that made me wonder about our trust of people, but more importantly, about our trust of God. Could it be that our trust is weak, or even nonexistent, because there is no communication taking place. It seems many have given up on meaningful prayer as a conversation with God because they feel that God simply isn’t listening — in fact, He’s not even taking their calls! There are a lot of reasons for that. Sometimes we become convinced that we’re not good enough or important enough for Him to bother with the likes of us. Sometimes we think we are so important that we can give directions to God and expect Him to follow. Real communication, and particularly real communication with God, requires that we view both our self and the one we wish to communicate with accurately so that we are willing to both talk and listen. If we don’t think we are worth God listening to, we will rarely take the time for any meaningful talk with Him. If we think we are important enough to give directions, we will rarely take the time to actually listen to what He has to say. It is when we view our self and God accurately that we begin to allow the flow of real prayer — that beautiful conversation with God where we both talk and listen.
Once I made it home from getting the car worked on, I spent some time going through the photos I had taken on my walk. Today’s photo was actually taken from my office as I was wrapping up the building prep for the day. As I took the trash out, the tree line was filled with a variety of birds singing their morning songs and gathering what food they could find. The blue jays rarely sit still long enough for good photos, but this one sat singing his song for quite a while. While their song is much harsher sounding than many of the other birds, I still enjoy listening for its call when I am out. I also called my mom and arranged to meet my parents for dinner to finish out the day. She told me that each of dad’s brothers would be their with their wife as well, so the evening wrapped up surrounded by family and listening to several lifetimes of stories from these three “boys”.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Each day has a beginning and end. One day the beginning will be just like any other and the end will be in the actual presence of Jesus.
- Memories are usually more fun, and funnier, when shared.
- What’s planted in your mind just may take root and grow. Be careful what you are planting in your mind and in the minds of others.
- It is much easier to say you have trust than to have your trust tested through obedience.
- One of the foundational steps of building trust is communication.
- It is much easier to destroy loyalty than to build it. Building it is vastly more important though.
- Talking to God only makes real sense if you’re willing to listen to God.
- We don’t all sing the same song and that’s not only okay, that is a good thing.
- I don’t know how much the “window of heaven” allows those there to see what takes place on earth; but if they could see it, I bet my grandparents were very pleased to see their three boys still talking and laughing together.
- I don’t know how the days that seem to have less taking place in them end up with the highest word counts in these daily pages. 🙂