Thursday, June 26, 2008

Follow the Leader

I've been so tired these past couple of weeks, even more than normal for me, so I was very grateful for the opportunity to get away for a few days. We left Friday night and came back late on Monday.

It was a good time in the middle of God's creation, getting refreshed and having the chance to just take it easy for a change.

While out in the bush I saw the scene to the right play out. A mother duck leading her little ducklings down to the lake. It was so cute and yet a profound lesson at the same time. These little ducklings had only one thing in mind: following their "leader". They weren't looking around at the scenery or watching for obstacles or wondering what I was doing with a camera. Instead, they were just focused on following in their mothers footsteps.

It reminded me of the journey that we are all on in our lives. We're called to "follow the Leader". And as much as we'd like to say that we chase after Him with no hesitation, the truth is often we get distracted by the scenery or start questioning the direction He's leading us in.

I wonder what life would be like if we were as trusting as these ducklings were? They didn't question the orders of the mother. They had no way of knowing that she was leading them to a lake that would provide them with food. They didn't know if the path was safe. They just trusted that she wouldn't be leading them to a place that wasn't good.

Oh that we could have that same level of trust in Someone much greater! A God who moved heaven and earth to show us just how much He loves us and a God who leads us down the path to everlasting life. May we all follow that God with reckless abandon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Story Of Your Life

Story Of Your Life - Ali Slaight
Do you ever stop and wonder
Where this road will take you
Whats around the corner
Will it make or break you
Is this your destination
Or is it the start of something new?

What will you accomplish
Which way will the wind blow
For every door that closes find an open window
And everyone is watching as you write the story of your life
Of your life

And you won't look back
Cause it feels so right
And no matter what it'll be alright
In the brightest day or the darkest night
You will find yourself in the story of, in the story of your life

Will you do the choosing
Or be the lucky one that's chosen
Will you recognise the greatness in your smallest moments
And every step your taking,
you'll write another chapter
In the story of your life.

This week the "story of my life" took an unexpected twist. I don't mean to be evasive, but this is a piece of news that I'm not quite comfortable sharing the particulars of, yet. But trust me when I say it's definitely one of those "life shifting" things.

So many plans, so many dreams seem to be indefinitely on hold and I'm looking to walk down a pretty long road that I never fully expected.

So this isn't the path that I planned, but at the same time I've become very much aware that it is a part of the story of my life that God wrote before I was even born. This latest turn in the story is no surprise to Him. He's allowed it to come into my life and He's going to give me the strength to walk through it.

In the meantime, I'm learning what it's like to, as the song says, "recognize the greatness in the smallest moments". Life doesn't have to be full of emotional highs and perfect moments to grasp the deepest meaning. Instead I'm learning to find joy in the simple things: a drink of my favorite cup of coffee, talking about faith with friends, late night snood battles, standing outside and breathing deep the clear and crisp air.

Life is never perfect and it's not always easy, but our life stories are ones that are more than worth living.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Online Trip Planning & Saving

I love the internet. Trip planning has never been so easy (or affordable).

For the past couple of months I've been researching hotels on TripAdvisor. Once I picked out my top two in each city, I've been checking their websites randomly, waiting for a price drop or sale.

Tonight I secured the last hotel that we'll be needing for the summer road trip and I was able to get it at a price that was amazing. Gotta love the online specials!

In all three cities that we're staying in we've got hotels that are super-nice for a fraction of the cost we would have paid to reserve over the phone.

In fact, one hotel worker that I spoke to advised me to book online because they can give out cheaper rates on their website than they can over the phone most of the time.

Here's to a great trip at a much lower cost!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

This Moment

It's amazing how fast life can change. All it takes is one split moment and suddenly your world can be turned completely around. Have you ever had such a moment? A phone call telling you to rush to the hospital where a loved one lay gravely ill? A few words out of a doctors mouth in an office? A split second decision where you make the wrong choice?

Everything we know. The fabric of our lives. All could be changed in the time it takes the second hand on the clock to move one notch.

We hear of these moments all the time. And while we've become quite good at not letting them fully sink in as they scroll across the evening news, there are times when the tragedy hits too close to home to ignore. And it's in those times when we realize just how fragile our lives truly are.

The truth of the matter is, we are never guaranteed any moment beyond the one that just passed. It doesn't matter how well we live or how much we serve those around us, there are no guarantees. We are only given life moment by moment and sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us realize that.

But when we do let that sink in, something inside of us changes. And it should. For such mortal beings, we have no business wasting our days and counting on an endless amount of tomorrow. As mortals we should never assume anything beyond today.

So what does that realization look like? It means never letting a day go by without telling those around us that we love them. It means never wasting an opportunity that God gives us. It means living each day as it were our last- fully, completely, and with the love of Christ radiating out of our hearts and souls. It means living our lives in such a way that if the next moment doesn't come or comes in a way other than what we expected, there are no regrets or things left undone.

Because the truth is, we just don't know. We don't know how long we have on this earth and we don't know how long our loved ones have with us. We don't know if the opportunity we have today will be given again tomorrow. We don't know anything beyond this moment. Sure we can make plans, sure we can have ideas, but no where are we promised that we'll have the time we need to live them out.

And while to some this is a scary concept, if you truly know and trust the living God of our lives, you know that what He has planned is good. He knows the number of our days and He has blessed us to live in the here and now. So let's learn to appreciate and fully live each moment that we have. Because life is a gift, this moment is a treasure, and there are no room for regrets in a life lived one moment at a time.