Day 17 – Caution

The staff arrived at Camp Allen this morning around 11a for our annual staff retreat. This arrival was right on the heels of learning that Darrel would be leaving COTHA soon to return home to Kansas with his family.

There are times I’m simply amazed at God’s timing. In years past, this staff retreat was held in January but for a variety of reasons, it didn’t happen this year. And then, a couple of months ago, in a flurry of staff development ideas, we threw this retreat back on the calendar but in October. It would provide a perfect opportunity to plan for the next year as well as get out of town and grow together through study, prayer, and fun.

Today – I can’t think of a better place or timing for us to come together after this morning’s news.

You have options after lunch. You can hike or drive to the cabins. I’m always for the hike and on this particular morning, I found myself heading back on foot alone. Not an issue – at all. One of my favorite places to be is in the woods…alone.

As I approached the trail it was marked in caution tape. It took my brain about 2 seconds to assess the danger and dismiss the warning. Nah, I’m good.

At about 100 feet in I approached the first of several bridges blown out by the recent floods. By the time I arrived to the cabins my feet were quite muddy and it had taken me more time than I had anticipated.

In 2 Samuel 6:7, when the oxen stumbled, Uzzah steadied the ark with his hand, in direct violation of the divine law, and he was immediately killed for his error.

Seriously? Uzzah saw the ark, WHICH WAS HOLY, falling and tried to steady and help. But it was in direct violation of the divine law…you weren’t allowed to touch the ark.

You know what else is in violation of God’s law? Self-reliance.

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,  who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6

I chuckled at myself on the trail – I had brazenly ignored the caution tape. And in this case the consequences were merely muddy shoes. But as we, my co-workers, approach this new season in the church, that caution tape was another amazing timing event. God prompting and reminding me to approach this season with caution…and even if something seems “right”, to avoid self-reliance and to remember that his strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Until tomorrow,

Miss a day – read more “The Crazy Things We Do”

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Donna Matthews is a blog writer at the DJRanch where she strives to remain authentic while not taking herself too seriously. She is also the creator of Slay The Chaos (, where she writes about productivity and organization. She is a member of The Writers Guild and Write Space in Houston and is currently writing her first book.