If you've read this post already, please forgive me. I posted it yesterday, but somehow it published incorrectly and was buried behind last week's posts.
Last weekend we went on a hike. It was more like a walk in the woods on a flat, newly paved path, but it was lovely nonetheless and lead us to my most favorite vista in the area- a lovely, 180 degree sweeping view of the other side of the mountain we were on and the valley below.
The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.
This is a great path for kids. Not only does it allow Miriam to stay steady on her feet but, off to the one side of the path, it's littered with huge boulders that the big kids love to climb on. The only problem with all this is that the little kid (two years old) also wants to climb the big boulders. This becomes the problem of the mama (me) because I do not wish to climb them with her or watch her tumble off them.
The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind.
On the way back to the van, I asked Sadie to stay on the path and keep off the rocks, as a favor to me, so that Miriam wouldn't beg to climb them again and again. Don't feel too bad for Sadie, she got plenty of boulder climbing on the way out the path.
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18
Poor Sadie could not keep her little self on that path. She was drawn to those rocks like a magnet. Sometimes she disobeyed on purpose and sometimes, I could tell, she honestly forgot and was lured away and into the rocks, brush and moss. After about the twelfth reminder, something clicked in my brain.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
I am just like a boulder-loving little girl on a path. I want to stay on the path. I really do. I know that it's the right thing to do and I really want to obey. And not just out of duty, but out of devotion. And yet, some days I deliberately step off the path and head off into my own direction- because I'm impatient, tired of trying to be good, or because want what I want and think I know best. Other days, I come to my senses and I'm way off the path and I wonder how I wandered this far. What lured me away without my knowing? Often I can retrace my mis-steps and determine where I went wrong, but it's too late. I've strayed.
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Staying on the true path in this world is tough. We are pulled and lured off it all the time and yet as faithful followers of Christ, we scramble back onto the path again and again and again and again because we love God, we want to give Him honor and praise and glory, and we seek the promises that staying on the path offers.
In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.
What are the things that cause you to stray? The things that the Spirit calls you on, but you refuse to admit are off the path? What are the activities, the habits, the temptations that pull you off before you know what's happening?
The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.
I challenge you today to respect the path and get yourself back on it every time, to recognize the things that draw you away and avoid those things. We know what they are and if we're honest with ourselves we know that we could do a better job of not allowing them to distract and derail us.
I'll be right there beside you, doing my best to stay on just like you. Oh, the joy we will find!
Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.