I stand again at the fork in the road. One leads within and one without.
The outer pathway leads to the familiar – I’ve trod this pathway many times before.
It’s easy to navigate, with plenty of pit stops. All signs say it was built with me in mind. I love it’s promise of liberty.
I can do what I want, when I want – and be comfortable to boot. I dawdle here, stopping to pick up bits of satisfaction all along the way.
Yet, each time I satisfy one passion, another screams for attention. One desire spawns another until I’m not sure what I really want anymore. I eat, or sleep, or shop or surf – all to escape the cacophony. But the gnawing seems only to grow. The more I get, the more I want. My needs remain unmet and yet, I anxiously crave for more.
“Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” (James 3:15-16)
And then I remember the fork.
This inner pathway leads only to the unseen.
When I walk this path, I realize that I’m not the main figure here, but He is. It is not my will, my desire, my wants – but His that is being manifested along this road. I am not central.
The longer I walk here, the more distant the view of the outer road becomes. When I keep looking ahead, I see more of His Kingdom, both beyond and before, while noticing less and less the mess that is “me”.
Along the inner path, I am not alone with my fear. Because He is with me, I shall not want. The cessation of desire is the true pathway of joy and peace. In giving Him my desires, they gradually decline over time. I find myself with the desires of my heart because that desire is Singular.
So today, again, I choose the unseen way. Even as I begin, I am timid, because it is indeed the road less traveled. I cling to the promise of His Presence and ask that He guide my weak and feeble steps.
“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17-18).
Which way will you choose?
You know a true friend when you can text her only 24 hours in advance and say, “I have the flu. Can you take this Sunday’s blog post?” While I was in bed, she took care of three children, meals, laundry and pulled off today’s amazing post. Carrie Vipperman….I love you.
(Carrie and her husband, Vip).
“It’s been an emotional day for me. There is no real reason for it (maybe my female DNA and 3 children under 7??), but it’s just been one of those days where you feel like crying a lot and can’t quite understand why. (Sorry to any male readers out there…I’ll try to reign in the female emotions now!) So, I sat down today to spend some much needed time with God at 4:35 p.m. I know the time because that is also when I sent Elly Bean upstairs for her twenty minutes of reading homework that I had to time. The fact that I did not get around to spending this time before 4:35 p.m. probably also helps explain (at least in part) my emotional state! Anyways, I sat down, picked up my Bible, and opened it to where I left off last time. And, there this was.
“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near, for God said, “the people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea….The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” (Exodus 13:17-21)
“There are times in my life, where I have questioned what is happening. I would even say that I have dwelled and obsessed on the questions. This is, of course, NEVER helpful. The constant “what if’s” only feed the doubt and worry like wood feeds a fire.
“I wonder if the Israelites had any “what if’s” as they walked the long way around through the wilderness right to a big sea? They were following the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, which would be a very clear sign that they were going the way God wanted them to go. But, don’t you think that they at least questioned why they weren’t going the shorter way?
“They did not have the information that God had, so they didn’t know the reasons for choosing this longer way that would eventually lead to what seemed to be a dead end in the sea. God knew that it would be far more dangerous for them to have to face the Philistines in a war, then to have to walk a little bit more through the wilderness. They were also witnesses to God’s awesome power as He split the sea so they could walk right through it.
“I would much rather walk a little (or a lot) and see that amazing miracle than fight in a war! Of course, I am saying this when I have all the information. I’m pretty sure—no I’m certain—I would have been whining like a baby through all the sandy terrain (have you ever gotten tired from walking a long distance on the beach?), the children’s complaints (are we there yet?), the terribly hot sun, the thirst, and on the list would go. Just call me a big baby.
“This is why I love passages like this where God reaches down and puts into words pictures of times in the past where He knew the better path. He knows the better path and He will lead us through it. He doesn’t leave us as we walk through that path. He knows all the reasons for the path He chooses. He created us and knows us far better than we know ourselves. He knows when we can handle a war and when we cannot. He knows!!
“So, whether your path makes sense to you or those around you or not, just trust God to lead you through it. Accept what He brings. Stay close to Him. Follow the pillars He places before you to lead you in His way. He knows the better path.”