Guided Tour

…Bumpy Road
I love this photo of my daughter, my grandson and me walking in our neighborhood. The street is gravel, rutted; from this vantage point you can’t determine what direction the street takes up ahead, when you reach the point where the trees appear to be growing right in the middle of the street. Left, or right?
This morning I found myself thinking about my walk with Christ. It has not led me along some smooth pedestrian path in a master-planned community, with careful landscaping and benches tucked in along the way for comfortable rest.
No. It’s been more like a hike through the wilderness. I’ve blistered my feet. My socks have collected burrs. I’ve encountered snakes, coiled and hissing, along the way. Stretches have provided no shade from the persistent sun.
At times the terrain was so challenging, the way so difficult to discern, that  I wondered whether I hadn’t strayed completely off the trail.
Always, always, if I pressed on, I would reach a place where the path was marked, the way clear.
I’ve also drunk sweet water straight from an unexpected spring. I’ve seen meadows abloom with stubborn wildflowers. I’ve discovered sheltered glens where I could stop, set down my burdens, and rest.
I read a blog post this morning that brought me to a place of gratitude, as much for the blisters and the burrs, even the snakes, as for the flowers and the shade. It’s by Gordon Atkinson. I hope you’ll take a moment to read it.
His closing sentences took my breath away, in light of my preoccupation with the path I’ve followed:
Every child of God follows his or her own path. Doubting children have long, winding paths that lead them into strange and wondrous places. Follow your path. Do not be in a hurry. Humbly think of others as greater than yourself. Tend whatever gardens are given to you. Mind the children and other pilgrims you meet on the way.

And finally this: if you are hungry for faith and reading this with hope, you’re going to be okay.  Gordon Atkinson (his emphasis)

The snakes, the glens, the water, the burrs….all have their place.

I must remember that this tour I’m on is Guided.

4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in You.
6 Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and unfailing love,
which You have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for You are merciful, O Lord.
8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
He shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them His way.
Psalm 25:4-9 (NLT)