For Everything

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On my way home from the grocery store, traffic came to a halt on the highway.

Every now and then, the vehicles in front of me would move forward—a little.

I didn’t know what the cause was, but I went into flexibility mode and began to sing along with my car stereo.

I repeated the song several times because I was still really wanting to sing it.

As I sang, I got my camera and started taking pictures of my surroundings.

Not always having the time to just stop and take in the beauty along the side of the road, this was an unforeseen delight.

Tall pine trees lined most of the road.

Wildflowers and grapevines, fence posts and wire—it was all so quiet.

As I sang the lyrics that dealt with trying and failing, realizing we’re not who we think we are sometimes and wanting to just be centered on God and held by His Spirit, I enjoyed the blessing of seeing some of the beauty He had created up close.

As it turned out, I think I was out on that stretch of highway for maybe 30-45 minutes, creeping forward a little at a time.

Coming to the end of it, roadwork and only a one lane opening was probably the main cause of the delay.

When I left the store, I didn’t know that I would be given the opportunity for reflection and solitude.

A gift from God on a sunny, late afternoon….

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Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

–from Ephesians 5:19-20

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The One Who is Wise Saves Lives

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Planning to go get dinner and run an errand to the grocery store, I headed down the highway about an hour before sunset.

As I drove down my lane, I suddenly noticed a group of sand hill cranes on the right side of the road.

There were five of them together!

I rarely see this many cranes at one time.

Being about three to four feet tall with beautiful red bands around their necks, they are one of my very favorite birds.

Pulling over into the closest parking lot I could find, I turned around at a cell phone store.

As I was about to try to pull out onto the highway to go back and take some photos of the birds, there seemed to be a traffic jam.

Right away, I wondered if the traffic had stopped because of the birds.

Moving my car as close as possible to the exit of the parking lot, I could see them.

Inside, I am smiling now, just remembering it—

The five stately birds were calmly walking across the four lane road to get to a farm area on the other side.

Cars moving both directions all stopped to allow their safe passage.

Never mind being late for an appointment.

Never mind not arriving at home just a minute or two late.

There was time to stop.

Time to preserve the lives of five birds.

The drivers in the cars showed kindness.

Think of the reverse—if they had just ignored the birds and hit them, driving on—wouldn’t you think they were heartless and cruel?

At the very, very least, unkind?

I believe, in my own heart, that a driver who stops to allow a bird to live is the type of person who would also show kindness and care for a neighbor, a friend or a stranger in need.

Proverbs 11:30 tells us,

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and the one who is wise saves lives.

I watched some very kind people decide to save lives today.

Lives of five sand hill cranes, but lives, none the less.

How can we show kindness so that others will be blessed?

God will bring us the opportunities.

We need only to respond in the way that He would have us to.

After all, wouldn’t Jesus stop to let five of His birds walk by?

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Point Me Down Your Highway, God

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I went to a restaurant today.

Not really knowing the way, I relied on a friend to take me there.

I was never in the driver’s seat.

After getting out of the car, we met other friends who had driven there, as well.

After parking the vehicles, we had to walk quite a bit to get to the particular restaurant we were going to.

One person I was with had been there before, so he led the way.

The walkways were crowded, but we were able to follow him through all the turns–past this building and that building.

In fact, it took about twenty minutes to finally arrive at our destination.

There wasn’t a single moment that I was concerned.

Trusting that he knew just where to walk, I simply followed and enjoyed friendly conversation along the way.

After lunch, when it was time to go home, I still had no idea which way led back to the cars.

Trusting my friend once again, I simply followed.

When I got into the car, I had no idea how to get back to the highway and go home.

That wasn’t a problem at all.

I wasn’t driving, but another friend was.

She knew the way home.

There wasn’t a single moment when I was concerned about not knowing the way back.

I trusted her.

As we drove away, there was a long curve in front of us.

Beautiful trees stood in the median, creating a peaceful scene before us.

Sometimes we find ourselves not knowing which way to go in life.

We have to rely on God to take us there.

We aren’t in the driver’s seat.

Since God is the only one who knows where He wants us to go, we have to follow Him.

We are able to follow Him through all the turns–past this situation and that situation.

In fact, it’s going to take us the rest of our lives to reach all the destinations He has planned for us.

As His children, there is no cause for concern.

There may be a long curve in front of us sometimes, but looking to God will bring a peaceful calm.

We can trust Him to know the way.

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