How many times have you asked yourself, “What do I do now? What job do I accept? Who do I ask for advise? What way do I want to go with my line of work? What path do I follow?
Humans have been asking this question since the beginning of time. The only difference might be the fact we aren’t all walking cool grassy lanes or dirt paths outside in the woods and open land. Maybe, people don’t always ask the question out loud, but it will enter their minds many times down through their lives. What path?
Sometimes, it’s easy to decide which path we want, or it could be … a path is forced on us. But there are those times when we want help deciding the right path. We want to avoid frightening paths and detours.
We all walk many paths in life. Some are short, or we might end up turning off on another path appearing before us–such as a new line of work. There are job changes, situations within our families, and many times … health issues pushing us down paths we don’t want to walk.
We might willingly follow a path dictated by someone else, or we might choose to walk a path just to satisfy another person. Nothing is wrong with that. And there are those times when we accompany someone, because we realize they need companionship.
But … how often do we make our own path and leave our own footprints? Does it matter?
When I was growing up, I had one set of grandparents who wanted to select the best path for me. And I will admit, I balked at their attempts. The other grandparents were just the opposite. They would not have dreamed of forcing me to take a path I was not comfortable walking, but they warned me to be careful. And I suppose my parents were just plain reluctant to see me hike off on any path they had not walked. That is understandable.
But sometimes, as the years pass by, we begin to realize one special thing. Walking your own path may not be a bad thing, if God walks beside us. If all is good, between God and us, He can straighten out the crooked trails and smooth the rough ones. Along many paths, we might see blessings and realize we never want to change things.
While following what we believe God wants for us, we can feel good about our footprints.
Remember, as a child, how you walked in damp dirt or sand and looked behind you to see your own footprints? Remember the happiness you felt then? How you giggled and ran to make more prints? It was fun to make your mark on the smooth sand of a damp beach. The prints said you had been there. You were important. You had left your mark on something big!
We need to finalize our days on earth with that same feeling of accomplishment. We need to make our own footprints, but not just spend time gazing back at them. We need to look ahead, avoid dangerous forks in the path, but let ourselves feel good about the footprints we can leave on the straight path toward God and Heaven.
We don’t journey alone, but it may seem we wander by ourselves. Many people will accompany us at different stages of our life–a younger sibling, a spouse, a child, or a stranger. Our influence spreads like waves in an ocean.
Some trails and trials may lead uphill, around sharp bends, and straight through a dismal swamp. And swamps pull people down. That’s why we must set a straight, level path toward God.
What we do with our lives might be mirrored by others coming in contact with us. We may never realize it–but there are family members and strangers watching us and our reactions to life’s trials.
Walk a crooked path and there might be loved ones who copy each step. Isn’t that frightening to think about? How much better to influence them to live a decent life.
God’s word promises us that there will be consequences related to where our desires take us and who tags along, copying and looking up to us. That means friends and family members might slip and fall if we have chosen a deceitful life. We need to be ready to reach down and lift up the weary, not add to their grief. Perhaps we’ll have to act fast in order to guide friends and family over obstacles blocking their paths. Life doesn’t slow down.
Who led you when you were young and unsure of where life’s path would take you? How did your steps grow solid and sure?
What obstacles appear in your life, make you stumble and vear off course? Perhaps you crashed?
“Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.” Hebrews 12:13 NLT
This road on the left is clear and uncluttered, with only a gentle slope and slight curve. It’s easy to stay on the path. But a straight path for our feet might resemble the next picture. It’s reliable, taking us to our destination with the least detours. Anyone following us will have no doubt about the direction our feet have travel.
Confidence in the path will help eliminate falls and injuries. Confidence in God’s guidance does the same and brings everlasting life and peace.
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© Karen Campbell Prough 2013