August 23, 2010

“I will give you rest”


he never-ending roller coaster of life continues....

Last week was difficult. In fact, it was so difficult that it’s difficult even to put it into words. It was a tough week. Forget the literary excellence of It was the best of times; it was the worst of times, it seemed to be one of those worst of times weeks.

So as the end of the week approached, I began to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. At 3:30, I typically begin to shut down my computer and pack up my belongings to head to the bus for the commute home. And this week I had Friday night plans. As soon as I was to arrive home in Front Royal I planned to head to a friend’s house to play some music. I was looking forward to the release.

The week had become increasingly stressful as each day passed, and Friday was a microcosm of the entire week—it began bad and got worse as it went along. My work seemed to place heavier and heavier loads on my shoulders. Clients seemed to be particularly difficult taskmasters. But I kept my sights focused on that 3:30 light at the end of the tunnel. The seconds were counting down—I was into the home-stretch. And then...

@ 4:45 am

At 3:28 I received a phone call asking me to work on a project that evening. Work was to be sent to me at some unspecified time in the evening and I was to turn that work around so it could be distributed to the team that night. In other words, the light at the end of the tunnel was just extinguished.

@ 5:15 am

So I told my wife that Saturday would begin early for me. I planned to take my camera and tripod up into the Shenandoah Mountains early on Saturday morning to take pictures of the sunrise. I thought the solitude would help relieve some of the stress. And it did. The solitude allowed me to focus on the spectacular light show that God displays every morning. It seems God understood the modern American psyche with its short attention span. The beautiful colors of a sunrise last for about 30 minutes. So you need to be watching for it or you’ll miss it. And at that time of morning, that light show seems to be intended for just a handful of people. In fact, this past Saturday it seemed that God put on this light show for me alone. Not one other car passed me as I stood in the center of the road taking pictures with exposure times in the minutes rather than fractions of seconds.

@ 5:30 am

I felt the stress slide away. I pondered the magnificence of our great and majestic God. And I praised him for his glorious creation.

@ 5:40 am

I returned home a little bit before 7:00. Our family ate breakfast and then headed out to run some errands. Then we returned to Skyline Drive as a family to drive the mountains together. It was a good day.

And then it was Sunday. We sat in church and listened to the encouragement from the pulpit—encouragement that it seems was intended for me almost as directly and uniquely as the beautiful sunrise God had provided one day earlier:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28–30

Later in the day

Wow! Thank you, God!

More pictures from the day.


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