It's been an absolutely beautiful week! The temperature cooled off and we had a great time with the kids on the ranch. To top it all off, God has brought me back to a place of peace and contentment, and I know once again that Taylor is the right place for me right now. He's given me such joy and high spirits these last few weeks, and I praise Him for the work He's doing to show Himself in and around me! The weekend finds me grateful but physically spent. I was ready for some serious down time. So today I've done very little. Oh, I have a list of good stuff I'd like to accomplish, things I feel I need to get a move on, such as writing on this blog! In the last week I had an inspiration for something to write about, and then a few days later I got some really cool insights on a Psalm I'm memorizing, which I would also like to share. The trouble is that if I don't have or take the time to write the same day, it usually won't happen. I begin to lose the train of thought and the inspiration. When I sat down this morning with the intention of writing, I was distracted and couldn't get started. I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with these ideas anymore. So I didn't try very hard. What I needed most was to sit in the gorgeous mid-70's sunshine on the lake beach and listen to the water lapping the shore and talk to God. So that's what I did. After that I messed around for awhile, doing seemingly a lot of nothing. But it really was something. I cleaned the shower, which improved my general outlook. I read a letter from a close friend, which gave me great pleasure. I spent time chatting with some other friends. The day was wearing on, and I still hadn't gotten to any of my writing or reading, but I was determined to get out and move for awhile, so I pulled out my bike. It turned into quite a long ramble over hills and gravel roads and into some lovely secluded spots. On the way home, as I pushed my tired muscles along, I began to focus on how much time I'd spent away from the list of things I "needed" to do. I was becoming weary of the journey and anxious to just get home and be done with it. But I stopped myself and considered what a pleasant ride it had been, and I remembered that I ride my bike because I enjoy the scenery and the experience. I don't do it to knock off a certain distance and get back home. And I realized that it's the same way with life...the joy is in the journey. Yes, we do need to be certain of our destination and intentional in the way we travel. There is a reward at our journey's end. Yet what would the homecoming be without the journey? It's in the trials, triumphs, hardships, and joys of this walk through life that we are being shaped into all we were meant to be. And God is working through it all to take the emptiness of our lives and turn it into fruitfulness. Take my day, for example. God can do as much or as little as He chooses with one day of my life to make an impact on eternity. Did I make myself completely available and surrendered to His use today? Probably not. Have I ever had a day when I did that? Not that I can tell. But God is constantly working to bring me and you closer to that goal. And sometimes, to be honest, we need a day to do absolutely nothing. A day to breathe deep, lay on the sand, and listen to the sound of water.
Back to my bike ride. It matters little how many miles I went or how many times I had to get off and walk up the hill. The journey wasn't about my speed or my physical strength. For me, the greatest reward in a bike ride, and in life, is in the times I stop to smell the roses. It's in making a memory. It's the sunshine on your face and the wind whipping your hair. It's stopping on a secluded back road among the trees to listen to the stillness. It's catching the scent of Fall in the air. It's hearing the corn stalks whisper as you pass. It's the excitement of seeing what's just over the next hill or around the bend. It's drinking in the jeweled blue of the sky and trying to imagine how that color would feel and taste. It's the crunch of gravel under the tires and the buzzing of the cicadas. It's the thrilling and slightly scary rush of flying down a hill. It's singing along to your favorite worship songs in your earbuds, and then turning the music off and talking to God.
Today I spent time with God. I spent time with people I care about. I didn't accomplish a lot of tangible stuff. Maybe I didn't reach my full potential in a lot of areas. My life isn't long enough to write every inspiration. And that's ok. I don't have to try to recapture what was on my heart a week ago. But I shared what was on my heart today. We all have a lot of living left to do, if the Lord wills. Slow down a little bit. Savor what means the most to you. Let's look for the joy in the journey.