After too many hours in a crowded car & too many traffic jams, we safely arrived home after 11pm from a whirlwind trip to Sumter, South Carolina. We'd left around 2pm on Friday & returned late Monday night. Our GPS always shows the quickest route to take 11.5 hours. After several Labor Day weekends of making this trek, we continue to desire to make it in much less time than eleven and a half hours. Yet, each time after sitting through multiple traffic jams & encountering long stretches of road under construction & driving through torrential rain fall, we consider ourselves fortunate if we make the trip anywhere close to that estimated time!
By the time the car was unloaded & we could go to bed, I was too awake to relax. I quickly caught up on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook. We'd had family prayer with friends & family before leaving South Carolina. And several times that day I'd thought of God's faithfulness to our prayers. I went once again to God in prayer: giving thanks for our safe travels; giving thanks for safety & no injuries (on the way there, while there & on the way back); giving thanks for & listing needs of family & friends, far & near; asking for the sweet Hispanic family (we'd coincidentally met at TWO separate stopping places on the drive) to feel & KNOW the unconditional & never-fading love of my God - the God of Abraham.*
It was getting close to 1am as I began to tire. I quickly asked God to rest me well in the night & wake me up with an agenda which came from Him. (My natural tendencies would be to relax after such a crazy weekend & wait until tomorrow to start up any good habits!) The morning came fast but, I was ready to go. My waking thoughts reminded me of the conversation with God the night before.
I made it a point to thank God for the unusual day-after-the-trip energy & decided to begin my day by reading 2-3 devotionals which are waiting for me early each morning in my email inbox. The first was based upon a very familiar saying about pride... and falling. A line in the short devotional grabbed me:
"It is far better to work on the inner qualities of our character
than the outward hubris of success."
Hubris! What a word!! And, being placed in such close proximity with the word success!?!?! How could that be possible? And then, I was once again reminded that too often I define my success & the success of those around me from totally the wrong vantage point. I too often let the values of this world & society influence how I define success. If only I would be reminded daily (hourly - probably more often) to look at things from above - from a place where things can be seen more clearly & in context with surroundings. If only I could be reminded frequently that working on the inner qualities of my character will always result in success... my own success & the success of those around me. It's a win-win situation!
"Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall." Proverbs 16:18 NIVWhether you profess to live by the tenants of the Judeo-Christian faith, those words about pride & falling are GOOD ADVICE! How many times have we seen others fall due to their pride? How many times have we, ourselves, fallen due to our pride? May God help me to work on the LASTING things today... on the building blocks of my character.
* (Hmmm... was meeting up with that family twice a coincidence - especially when I'd gone out of my way to make conversation with them at the first stop? Or was it God?? And, if it was God, what was His intent? Will I see them again? Will I continue to support them with my prayers? I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to write my thoughts about that in a post to come.)
This is a true "Pairing" of mine -- with a picture I took and words which move me. The picture might be of my knees or the back of the LOML's head or the floorboard of the car. But, when I added these words to it, it became a picture I wanted to keep :)