As I wrote in a previous post, I have accepted as my purpose in retirement “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” A favorite way to do this is to get out in nature and see what God has made. While we were at Poverty Point, we noticed that there were lots of waterfowl. Poverty Point is part of the Mississippi Flyway for waterfowl migration, and ducks, egrets, herons and pelicans were just starting to arrive in Louisiana for the winter.
So I decided that I was going to enjoy God by taking pictures of waterfowl. I got my Canon Rebel with the telephoto lens and set out one day around sunset (because I heard sunset and sunrise were the best times to photograph wildlife). Tom and I rode our tandem around the point of the lake to the sheltered area where the birds congregate. As soon as we got off the bike and stepped into the grass on the lakeshore, our legs were covered with mosquitoes. I was focusing the camera and didn’t notice at first, but Tom immediately started yelling at me “we have to get out of here!” Mosquitoes are not a part of God’s creation that I enjoy. Running our hands over our legs and arms to get the mosquitoes off, we got on the bike and pedaled for home.
The next morning I got up early, before sunrise, only to discover fog so heavy you couldn’t see the road. I knew the day was supposed to be sunny, so I sat down and waited until the sun started to burn through the fog. Then I sprayed myself heavily with DEET, woke Tom up, and we drove to the same point on the lake. Thankfully the mosquitoes were deterred by my DEET and left me alone.
I watched the birds for an hour, taking lots of pictures with mixed results. But I succeeded in my purpose – enjoying the early morning and the beauty of God’s creation in the noises and sights before me. I want to share some of the better pictures with you, and give you also these verses that I read this morning during my devotional time, which seem especially appropriate as I relearn how to enjoy God:
If you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. Isaiah 58:13-14