“By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” Psalm 119:105
There are days that feel as though I am walking backwards. I start out right, reading God’s words to me, studying His ways. It is not uncommon for me to fervently pray, each morning, for guidance; for a lighted path in front of my wandering feet. Because, let’s be honest, as a Christian we want to know exactly where we are going. We don’t want to make any mistakes. We want to see the future set before us in a gloriously lit walkway that we cannot deny, with guardrails along its edge, and even a nice electrified wire spinning above it to keep us from wandering off the path, thank you very much!
I don’t know about you, but if left to my own devises, I am more likely to go tumbling down a rocky slope, than skipping merrily down the center of the road. To me the path is not a glowing light, it appears as a dark and winding trail that seeks to dump me off the moment I lose focus or even venture precariously close to the edge. And it makes the journey a difficult one.
In Psalm 119:105, the psalter tells us that God’s words will show us the way.
The pathway through this world is dark and riddled with lies and temptations, and often it is difficult to see if we are still traveling in the right direction.
Being a fervent Tolkien fan, I often find parallels in the pages of his books, and the scenes depicted in the movies. In The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo and his traveling companions are weaving their way through the woods that lead to Rivendell. Gandolf is the only one who knows the destination at the time they enter the forest, but he instructs the company to stay on the path, to watch closely and not veer outside of its carefully laid trail. He warns them that there are many things that will seek to derail them from their path, and if they lose focus for even an instant, they may end up wandering around, lost forever.
Oh how that sounds like some of my experiences! I tend to be easily distracted *squirrel* and the distraction often leads me in a direction that I never intended on going. God always manages to get me following the right path again, but the experiences along the way are often painfully unnecessary. Thankfully, God uses each and every one of them – nothing is lost, but looking back, there are many that I would have rather avoided…like the plague!
The path through this life is not going to be easy. Nor will it be clear the majority of the time. But with a roadmap [the bible], and a guide to shine light on the right way to go [the Holy Spirit], I think I just may make it through the woods! …