Throughout the years, I have learned that I am a very "visual" person. When I am learning something, I have to see it in order for it to truly make sense. I am appreciative of the times in which God gives me visuals to understand His word or a concept. However, there are times where I am directly involved in that "divine visual". I had such an experience a few days ago; a visual and lesson that God gave me, and it will stick with me for the rest of my life.
"And She's Off..."
A Fork in the Road
About half way through my journey, I came to a fork in the road. To my left was an unpaved path, and to my right was a paved path. My gut told me that I wanted to turn left, so I followed it, only to have it take me out to a road in town. "This can't be it!", I thought to myself. "I know that the path that we took brought us right back to the library." So I stubbornly retraced my steps, and took the other path. For the first hour, it seemed quite promising. A couple joggers passed by me, and the scenery was certainly more beautiful. Every time I hit a corner, I would think to myself "Surely this is the end of the pavement!". But after awhile, I realized that it was getting dark, and there seemed to be no end in sight. But I kept on walking, knowing that at some point this trail was going to end and bring me to my destination.
"And she's officially lost..."
As the walk grew more and more hopeless, the sky began to get dark. Despite this fact, the Lord provided in so many ways. My cell phone had full coverage, the battery lasted as long as I needed it to and there was a beautiful, bright full moon to light my path. There came a point where I knew I had to turn around, because I had no idea where I was. I knew that it would be safer to retrace my steps then to risk moving further and further to a destination that I wasn't sure was at the end of my path.
At this point, I had been walking for close to 3 hours. I was thirsty, hungry and my poor short legs were getting pretty tired. But I knew that I had a choice; and that choice was to keep moving forward, or to stop in fear. As I was presented with this choice, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear "Sarah, in order for me to direct you, you must first take a step...any step will do." It was in that moment that I realized how often I have allowed fear to prevent me from moving forward in life. In addition to this truth, I was reminded of how many times I have traveled on a path that I thought was taking me to a certain destination, but it ended up leading me to a place of uncertainty and sometimes pain. Just as my misguided journey in the woods was not a intended, it certainly wasn't a waste of time. It was through that "mistake" that the Lord impressed upon me truths that my heart needed to hear.
Additional Truths Learned From the Wayward Wanderer
- We are all on a journey, filled with beautiful and dark times. It is how we choose to walk our path that determines the experience.
- All of us will eventually come to "the fork in the road", whether it be in regards to a relationship, an attitude, a lifestyle or career change. One may lead to peace and one may lead to distruction, but God is our guide. He will always lead us to exactly where we need to be, at exactly the right time. Trust Him. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."-Proverbs 16:9
- In order for the Lord to guide us, we must take a step forward. How can we be led if we won't move?
- In times of uncertainty in our lives, we mustn't give into fear of the unknown, but rather embrace the journey, hanging tight to the truth that we are not alone.
- Just because a path is paved and smooth, doesn't mean it is the right path to take. Often it is the narrow, rough graveled path that we must journey on.
~In closing, I would like to leave you with the lyrics of the hymn, "He Leadeth Me"~
1. He leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be,
still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, he leadeth me,
by his own hand he leadeth me;
his faithful follower I would be,
for by his hand he leadeth me.
2. Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom,
by waters still, o'er troubled sea,
still 'tis his hand that leadeth me.
3. Lord, I would place my hand in thine,
nor ever murmur nor repine;
content, whatever lot I see,
since 'tis my God that leadeth me.
4. And when my task on earth is done,
when by thy grace the victory's won,
e'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
since God through Jordan leadeth me.