I've spent the past year hiking 4 or 5 days a week at the city park near the boys' school. It's not my first choice, but it's close by and the trails never close even when it's muddy. And then there's the birds.
There is a house on the far side of the park that has all sorts of birds, like ducks, geese, chickens, guinea fowl and the most majestic of all, a peacock. Every so often, some of these birds escape and freely roam the park. I saw the peacock for the first time about a year ago, and somehow it has become a Thing. As in, I obsessively hunt for the peacock every time I enter the park. We've even named it Kevin, after the bird in the Up movie.
Every single morning I pray for God to show me that peacock. There's no explanation for it. And every so often, Kevin magically appears, usually when and where I least expect him.
The past few weeks I've been praying extra hard for Kevin to appear. Probably because we are five weeks into the school year, and I still have no idea what God wants me to do with my life. I don't know if I am expecting an answer to appear on Kevin's back, like get a job or write a book. Perhaps stop wasting so much time and drinking so much coffee. But somehow this poor peacock has become a critical symbol in the middle of my mid-life crisis.
This morning I was praying for Kevin to appear when I almost ran right into these two guys, some of the numerous guinea fowl which appear far more frequently than the solitary peacock. I couldn't help but wonder. Maybe God wants me to stop praying so hard for the mysterious peacock and just accept the slightly out of the ordinary guinea fowl. Perhaps this is the answer after all.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
It's been raining here for weeks. And it's driving me crazy. I spend every morning the same way. I drop the boys off at school, and I head to a park to hike for an hour or two. It's the best way to start my day and nurtures both my body and my soul.
But the past three weeks, rain has been my constant companion. Many of the parks I love to visit have been closed, so I'm stuck at the nearby city park that never closes. The first week I skipped some days, figuring the rain couldn't possibly last. But it has. It has been the rainiest September we have ever had, and after about a week, I just had to give in to the rain. And the mud.
I started hiking those muddy trails two weeks ago and haven't skipped unless there's lightening. I even developed a plan of sorts. I hike 3 or 4 miles in the mud, and I end at the unexpected creek pictured above. Believe it or not, that's actually a sidewalk, covered by rocks and water. I trump through the 'creek' until the bulk of the mud is washed off my shoes, go back to the car, take off my wet hiking shoes and socks and go home.
The plan was working great until some of my friends found out what I was doing. You are going to catch E Coli... warned one of them. Do you know how much bacteria is in the standing water?... Oh my gosh! That's a breeding ground for mosquitoes!
Apparently my friends and family had lots of advice about my shoe washing methods...
It merely reminded me that each of us make so many decisions, every single day; some big, some small and every level in between. And every one of the those decisions have consequences. I find that my decisions tend to work out for the best when I seek His counsel and don't act on my own. When I go to His Word and don't try to control my own destiny.
It's been two weeks of tromping through that rain water, and I don't appear to have foot E Coli yet. I've spent that time praying and asking God to guide me on my path. I'm feeling pretty confident I'm going to be alright with Him by my side.
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.