Page 353 was a pleasant, productive day. I left the house for work early in the crisp night air under a beautiful blanket of stars. The forecast was for warmer weather and it didn’t disappoint. I had a full day of work to get done before I could more fully enjoy the sunshine, so I started right in with my morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep routine. Today my mental soundtrack began as soon as I walked out the door of my house. It is one of many favorite hymns and words such as these filled my mind all day — “O, Lord, my God! When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds thy hands have made. I see the stars . . . Then sings my soul! My savior, God, to thee! How great thou art! How great thou art! “. Prayer and worship working together can do wonders when it comes to attitude and approach to a day.
Once the building was ready for the day and the trash was taken out, I took care of a few minor maintenance issues before turning my attention to some correspondence and messages from the day before. One of my morning tasks was the boxing up of the remaining 2018 Bible reading calendars that I had on hand, along with some copies of the 31-day devotional books I have written, so I could get them sent out to a correctional facility that wants to use them. I know I’ve written about this before, but I doubt that the person that passed along one of these Bible reading calendars to an inmate for the first time several years ago had any idea that it would lead to the opportunity for me to send even more prayer-based material into that setting. Being faithful in doing what God sets before us really is about doing our part in what often appears to be a puzzle that we rarely see the whole picture of.
The warmer weather of today isn’t supposed to last, so after getting the box shipped off I turned my attention to making sure I had fuel on hand and the snowblower was ready for whenever the next snow would come. The tasks of the day ate away the morning and crept into the afternoon as I tried to complete a few things in process before taking a friend to lunch for a time of encouragement . . . and food, of course. 🙂 Often times the best thing, and most difficult thing, we can do in a friendship is to just be available to sit and listen. Yes, guidance and direction are important, but those often fall woefully short if we’ve not spent any time listening.
After I made it home, we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and beautiful day by heading to Lake Michigan to shoot some nature scene photos. It was so nice out, that while I threw a coat in the truck “just in case”, I survived the entire evening with a sweatshirt to ward off the cool breeze coming off the lake. There has been a snowy owl seen around the Michigan City lighthouse area at different times over the past few weeks, so I was really hoping to see one and be able to photograph it. As we made our way out to the lighthouse pier, there were a few places with “white spots” that I zoomed in on with my camera only to have them just be white rocks or concrete chunks instead of an owl. When we reached the end of the pier at the lighthouse, one of the spots on the outer break wall looked promising so I zoomed in and found that there was indeed a snowy owl out there . . . way out there! Today’s photo is a picture of her that I took using the full 2000 mm zoom equivalent of my camera and then cropping the photo in even further. She was fun to watch as she kept slowly turning her head back and forth, keeping an eye on all of her surroundings — and on us. As we photographed the owl, the sun began to set and we even ended up with sunset photos that we liked so all in all, the evening photo outing was a success. After we got home I spent the rest of the day going through the photos from the evening and doing some minor adjusting and cropping of them before finally heading to bed with today’s page lived but unwritten. So, after a pleasant and productive day I am writing today’s page the next morning. 🙂
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- When you are accustomed to fall temps in the sixties and it drops into the thirties, it feels cold. However when you got through several days in a row that are overcast and the temperature never reaches twenty, sunshine and temps near forty makes it feel really warm. 🙂
- Prayer and worship may not make everything “better” in the sense that it changes our circumstances, but it can make everything “better” in the sense that it changes our attitude about our circumstances.
- I cannot see a star-filled sky without considering and acknowledging the One who hung them in place.
- The seeds of opportunity never bear fruit until after we plant them.
- In God’s kingdom, many times the one who plants is not the one who will see the harvest.
- My part in the kingdom is made possible by others doing their part and my doing my part makes it possible for still others to do theirs.
- Listening may be more natural for some than others, but it ought to be a part of who we are even if we must work at it.
- Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be, but you will often never know for sure unless you take a closer look.
- While I enjoy zoos for what they can offer, seeing and photographing wildlife in the wild is much more satisfying to me. I suspect God feels much the same way about seeing us living in freedom rather than being caged by sin.