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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

 For the first time ever I was able to talk my wife into purchasing a tag the spring. We have gone out several times using a blind a friend loaned me. On this day we took the blind, two chairs, two guns, my vest, and snack food.  I feel more like a pack mule that turkey hunter.

Upon arriving at one of my favorite spots we can see the turkeys down in the corner of the field about a half of a mile away. The only way to get there without them seeing us is to walk up around through the north pasture. Additional walking for the pack mule is worth it for the chance.

As we walk over the ridge to the extreme north through the binoculars we can see three Tom’s fighting. Finally after a nice 30 minute hike, we are within 150 yards of where we saw them earlier. Putting up the blind is out of the question because of noise but there is plenty of coverage with weeds and overhanging lambs. I crawled through the grass to the edge of the field and put out the full strut Tom decoy. 

Crawling back through the grass to where Charlene is I give her gloves and a mask. She looks pretty cute. Just before I put on my gloves and say to Charlene, “Let’s pray.”

“Dear God bring us a turkey, amen.”

I just about have my gloves and mask on when she mentions something about the decoy moving. Somehow a Tom has snuck in and I tell her it would be best to shoot him since he’s only 10 feet away. Her gun is on safety and in the confusion the Tom sees us. Fortunately we’re the only ones with guns and I drop him with Winchester 6 shot.

Immediately a series of gobbles ring out from down the hill. They gobble again and again and again. Here they come. Five tom’s through the bushes gobbling their heads off. We can’t shoot but enjoy the show. After about 10 minutes they move off.

 A thunderstorm is bring to the west and so I load up the pack mule and carry everything out. Charlene has her cap on and I think she’s carrying the snacks, but she sure looks cute (I did say she looks cute didn’t I).

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The 6:32 AM Masterpiece

The 6:32 AM Masterpiece

Crisp cool air greeted me as the morning bike ride began. The first mile or two are always strange until the road, chain and breathing establishes a cadence for the day.  Alone on the road (commuters passing by in cars hardly count) with my own thoughts. The sun has just begun to creep up over the horizon as a deer finishes a morning snack before heading to bed down for the day. The steady cadence of the road, the chain, and my breathing take over and make a good canvas for prayer and reflection.

Just over the rise I gain my first view of the valley beyond. Fog is rolling through and the sun is pushing it off to the timber. The car that has just passed disappears into the mist. I hope the driver was enjoying to scene as much I was. A cell phone or worries about the days challenges should never interrupt the wonder of God’s watercolors. The view from above was spectacular the view from within the fogged valley was damp, hidden, and somewhat colorless.

I pedaled on contemplating how much of life is fogged by decisions, illness, hardships and misunderstanding. Fogged, not completely hidden but just enough to interrupt full understanding. How can God lead when we cannot see the way? Where is there beauty when all color is darkened? Ascending the hill on the other edge of the valley full light is restored and the cadence of the bike, pavement and breathing carry forward. It never ended in the valley, but the hill climbing out brought it better into consciousness.

The parable of the pavement holds many truths. Above the valley overlooking is great beauty which the fog doesn’t diminish, but adds to the splendor. Life with its challenges does not distract from God’s grace. There is grace for illness, hardship and conflict, and that grace may be hard to find in the fog but is clear to those watching us when we have found it. Sin does not diminish God’s grace to the one who grasps for God in the darkness of suffering.

I ponder my list of needy friends as the cadence moves me forward down the road: Some with illness from a fallen world; some with trials because of personal choices; others with hardships born from those close to them choosing wrongly; and still others with challenges that are a mixture of all of these. I pray but the fog has even reached within me. I can’t discern how best God should work. The road, the cadence of the chain and breathing continue. Above the fog, within the fog, and through the fog forward.

It would seem too easy to dismiss all that clouds our worlds as not good, when God allows them, and even beauty is discovered and made by them. My ride reached the end of its circuit and I returned toward home. By the time I reached the valley again the sun had done its damage and the fog was gone. With clear sunshine blazing I raced through the valley nostalgic for what had only earlier been troubling.

The fog as well as our troubles is very real, but certainly not lasting.  It may linger longer than we presently desire, but it will be with only the purpose that He determines. Everything is beautiful in its time even if we are unable to see it. Often the beauty is not in the moment, but in the lasting discovery of grace within it. The road, the chain, and the breathing take me home.

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