The Proven Path
While at my daughter’s in Greensboro, NC, I decided to do something that I often do at home – take a prayer walk. On this particular day, I started down the busy main road on which she lives and headed into the development that offers a much safer place to walk and pray. This neighborhood is rather small and has no other outlet. To have optimum walking time I hit all the cul-de-sacs and then the forest path that begins at the end of the street.
The trail in the forest is not very long either. One way rather dead-ends, with felled trees and the discernible path disappearing into taller undergrowth. The other end stops at a creek. Remember, this was a prayer walk, but as I surveyed my surroundings, I became curious as to what might be on the other side of the creek. From my vantage point it looked as if there were possibly a nice grassy meadow over there, but the creek was not crossable, or was it? As I looked down farther, I could see an area where slate was above the water making it a great place to go across.
And that’s what I did, only to find that the idyllic grassy meadow was really just a larger, overgrown path with ruts that indicated some sort of vehicular passage. I decided to follow it anyway, since now my curiosity was aroused as to what else I might find. Because of recent rains in the area many of the ruts held water, and the tall grass was not the best surface on which to travel. Still, I moved on, ever the adventurer…NOT! I was hoping that a pastoral or breathtaking scene would be around the bend, but around every bend there was just more rutted terrain, hemmed in by the forest that was on the other side. Eventually I saw a fence with a building and a parking lot. I had already walked far enough that I did not want to retreat and wade back through the tall grass, so I decided to continue toward the building because I thought I had to be back near her house. There is a tire business up on that main road; surely that’s where I was.
Well, when I finally reached the fence, walked along and got to the front of the building, it was not the tire shop on the main drag. Oh boy – I had no idea where I was! By now I had walked about an hour. It was close to 95 outside, and while God was merciful to send a cloud periodically to cover the sun, I was hot, tired, thirsty and sorry I had decided to venture farther than the original little forest path. It was then that I felt the slightly heavy bulge in my pocket – I had my hi-tech phone with GPS! I typed in my daughter’s address, and while I walked quite tentatively at first, I eventually recognized some of the surroundings and realized I was way down on the other side of the main road. My intended walk of 45 minutes turned into 2 hours. Because I am not very tech-savvy myself, I am not always appreciative of the latest, greatest technology, but I started to pray again, thanking God for getting me on track and for the ability to find my way back home.
This reminds me of our life’s journey. We are sometimes lured by the look of what appears to be something magnificent, beautiful, incredible, and when we get there we find it does not have the appeal we had imagined it might. Worse yet, because we’ve pursued the path, for whatever reason we stay on it and then find ourselves far away from where we should be, lost and seemingly alone.
The amazing truth is that we are never alone – God is always watching us on our journey, even when we make the sometimes-poor choices that we do. We need not look farther than His Word, His GPS if you will, to get back on a path that has sure footing and is heading in the right direction. “Your Word’s a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119:105. Look to His Word and follow His ways to know where you are and where you are headed. When the right way is not obvious, ask for His help and His guidance to take the path that leads to His best for you. “[He] will never leave you nor forsake you” Joshua 1:5b; His intention is to always lead you home.
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