2017: Page 328

Page 328 is the infamous “Black Friday” where stores are packed with people hoping to snag the best deal of the year on things they may or may not need.  I rather preferred the promotion being done by the Indiana State Parks to encourage people to “#optoutside”.  While I didn’t head out to do any shopping at any of the stores, I technically didn’t make it outside either — I did make it to the garage, but that was as far as I made it today.

After staying up late last night going through photos and watching TV, I was able to sleep in late this morning.  As I considered what the day would hold, I discovered the disadvantage of finding a garage door opener on sale and buying it — someone in the household didn’t think it should stay in the box very long. 🙂  So I headed out to the garage to switch out a non-functioning opener for the new one.  I’m not sure how long ago the previous one had been installed, but it was an old opener when we moved in 16 years ago.  Unfortunately, that meant nothing with the installation of the new opener matched up with the existing brackets and hangers of the old.  While there were no major issues caused by the differences; it took most of the day to make the changes, install the new safety sensors, and get the new opener operational.

I suspect that many people recognize changes they need to make in their life but don’t fully anticipate the work that will be required to make them.  Sometimes we think we can simply replace what isn’t working with something that does — like changing out a light bulb.  While there are things that are as easy to change as light bulbs, there are many other things that require significant work and effort.  Sometimes we try to put something new into old structures and support systems only to find out the differences between the old and new are too great.  It is at those time that we must set aside the old way of doing things and fully embrace that which is new.

After the new opener was up and running, I sat down to relax for a little while before dinner.  After eating, I went through yesterday’s photos to choose one for today’s page and then began the writing of the page.  The photo is a follow-up to yesterday’s heron.  It is one of the ones I took because I liked the way the trees and sunlight were reflecting in the wetland area.  It wasn’t until after I had taken a couple shots of this reflective scene that my wife told me there was a bald eagle out in one of the trees.  Sure enough, he’s there.  After zooming in and taking some close-ups of him, I noticed that he was visible in the earlier photos — both in the tree and in the reflection.  As I thought about this photo and everything reflected in it, I thought about how something has to exist in order for it to be reflected.  I can say that I want my life to reflect the love of God and the fruit of His Spirit, but in order for that to happen I must allow those qualities to be present in my life so that others can see Him reflected in me.

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

  • Finding the things you need at the best price possible is wise.
  • Buying things you don’t need simply because the price was “too good to pass up” may not be so wise.
  • I like the “#optoutside” promotion.  It is always good to encourage people to get out and spend time in the beauty of God’s creation.
  • I can stay up late and I can get up early; but it doesn’t work well for me to do them back-to-back in that order. 🙂
  • Change comes in varying degrees of difficulty.
  • When necessary change is difficult, it becomes tempting to downplay just how necessary it is.
  • Jesus said, “You don’t put new wine in old wineskins.”  Replacing bad habits with good ones often requires that you dismantle the structures that support your bad habits so that your new ones can flourish.
  • Change isn’t complete until it’s complete — keep at it all the way to the end.
  • Your life will never reflect things that aren’t in it.
  • To reflect Jesus to others, He must be present in your life.

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