We are in Cedar Lake, Indiana. Yes, that is the lake. And that is Molly, longing to swim in the lake. Her left foot is raised so she can run her fastest if I would just take the leash off her. She is prepared to swim.
I am longing to be in Shenandoah, hiking the wooded hills. My friend, Leigh, who is hiking with me posted the question on her FB page. Am I prepared?
We have trained all summer. Leigh goes to the gym. Molly and I walk. And we have hiked the highest hills we could find in central Iowa. But the true test of our preparations will be when we finally arrive and begin the hike.
Sometimes God asks us to do something new, some new adventure with him. And we often react as Moses did when God told him to rescue the Israelites in Egypt. "Who am I that I should go to Pharoah?" Exodus 3:11
We don't feel prepared to do what God asks us to do. And we may even argue with Him as Moses did. God answered every one of Moses's objections with a solution. But still Moses said, "Please send someone else." Exodus 4:13
Is God calling you to something new? Are you wondering if you are prepared?
There isn't a trail we can walk here on earth or beyond that God doesn't walk with us. "I cling to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:8
Don't argue with God, lift your foot like Molly and race to your new adventure with joy!
Do you see your reflection?
The day was cloudy, but enough light prevailed to cast some perfect reflections in the still waters of Easter Lake. I corralled Molly and paused to drink in the beauty and snap a few pictures. The majestic trees and cloudy sky are shown in perfect duplicate on the water's surface.
Proverbs 27:19 cautions us: "As water reflects a face, so a (wo)man's heart reflects the (wo)man.
If the lake had been surrounded by garbage, the water would have reflected the garbage. If turmoil and chaos were on the shore, the water would have reflected turmoil and chaos.
My heart is still water. I deeply desire to reflect peace and joy, but if I surround myself with garbage, I'm in danger of reflecting that. If turmoil and chaos control my life, I will reflect them. But, if I am learning to live a more godly life, I will reflect those positive attributes.
This is the time of year when the question is standard: Did you have a good summer?
Perhaps a more challenging question would be: Did you do something to draw closer to God this summer?
Camps, retreats, even family vacations can be opportunities for time with God, drawing closer to Him, and then reflecting His nature to our world.
What are you reflecting today?
My prayer is that you can say with Paul: "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18
The Winding Trail
A few days ago, Molly and I were walking on our Easter Lake Trail when we met a dad and his young daughter.
He was walking, but she was pedaling a miniature pink and white bike with training wheels still attached. She worked hard to keep the bike moving and to steer it along the trail.
As she passed us, I said, "You're doing a great job!"
She didn't respond to me, but pedaled harder to catch up to her dad. Then breathlessly, she exclaimed, "Daddy, I'm doing great!"
How often we ignore those Holy Spirit prompts to speak to, call, or make a visit to someone. A few moments of our time, and it can mean the world to another person.
There's someone you know today who needs a word of encouragement. They're pedaling hard and the trail is winding. Take time and be an encourager.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore, encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.