2017: Page 323

Page 323 was the end of ICOM 2017 and my travel home day.  After a very late night packing up the display, the new day technically arrived before I went to bed.  I was able to sleep in a little bit before I finally got up and did some follow up to some of the previous day’s conversations.  After several long days of great conversations and being around mass quantities of people, I was ready for some solitude — some quiet time alone with God.  Fortunately, my drive home would not only provide that, but there were some great parks not too far out of the way that I anticipated would add to a day of worship.

The first park that I planned on stopping at had signs at each entrance that said only hunters were allowed beyond that point.  I suspect since it is deer hunting season in the states I am familiar with, that is also the case in Illinois and those are the hunters they were allowing in.  However, the sign didn’t say what you had to be hunting so I was tempted to drive on in to hunt down the photographs I was hoping to take.  I didn’t do it because I was certain that wasn’t what the intent of the sign was . . . and because I didn’t really want to risk punishment or even accidentally getting shot.  But it did make me think of how often we reinterpret what we know God’s Word really means so that we can go ahead and do what we want.  

Since option one was closed, my next stop was at a park just a few miles away from the first.  Being that the first one was closed, I wasn’t too sure what I would find at this stop but it was open with no apparent “hunting” going on. 🙂  I was able to spend some time on the trails with God; worshiping Him for His goodness, creativity, and love as I walked and photographed some of the scenes that were spread before me.  The park is known as a winter home for bald eagles escaping the frozen lakes of regions further north.  While the winter visitors hadn’t arrived yet, they have at least one resident pair that raise their family there and I was able to see one of them at a distance out on the river.  The more close-up bald eagle view came later as I was driving down Interstate 80.  I could see something ahead of me flying fairly low and keeping on track with the highway coming toward me.  As we approached each other, I realized it was a bald eagle gliding overhead; taking the freeway to wherever it was headed.

I eventually stopped for a mid-afternoon lunch after I made it into Indiana.  The interstate is undergoing construction at many places and traffic was backed up with my GPS telling me there were multiple delays ahead.  So, I decided to take the more scenic route the rest of the way home and managed to stop by the Michigan City lakefront at sunset.  Today’s photo is fitting, not just of the day but of the entire conference, as it carried with it a beautiful, peaceful impression from the hand of God.  And while Sunday is the beginning of a new week, the sun had set on both the day and on my ICOM 2017 trip.  There was much throughout the conference and throughout the day to be thankful for and scenes such as this serve to help amplify my worship as God communicates His love and care.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • I thoroughly enjoy talking to people about prayer and the work God does through the prayer ministry.
  • There are times when I need quiet and solitude when I can spend time with God and tune out the rest of the world.
  • Rest and solitude rarely come uninvited and unplanned.
  • There are great depths and mysteries within God’s Word that are difficult to understand fully.
  • Many times our stumbling, however, is over things that really are rather clear — we just don’t like the application or don’t think it should apply to us.
  • Parks and nature settings are great places for me to find quiet and solitude where it feels like it is just God and I spending time together.
  • My places of quiet and rest may be different than yours, but we all need them.
  • Sometimes when everyone wants to take the fast or easy route, it can quickly become neither fast nor easy.
  • God’s creativity in a sunset never ceases to amaze me.
  • Habits and routines are good, but so is flexibility; so writing today’s page the next morning is a good thing. 🙂 

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