Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Path

Close your eyes and picture a desert, with dirt, rocks, sand and thorny bushes. Would it be easy to find a path through this? Would the wind end up erasing signs of the path over time?
Imagine following a deer path through the woods. If you were busy talking to friends or were distracted, could you end up walking off the path? Now imagine that same path under a foot of snow. Would the path be a lot harder to find? Would it be easier to find and stay on that path if you had someone who knew it well and could lead you?
Now imagine a small path winding through tall grass. Could you easily find your way if it wasn't clearly marked? Would it be easy to get confused and end up turning onto a different path?
Most of these paths would be bound to intersect with other paths and at each one we would need to make a choice of which way to go.

Each of these paths represents times and places in our lives. Sometimes we have to go through times of drought, when we feel alone and it seems like our spirit is drying up inside of us, when we thirst for Living Water. Sometimes we go through storms in life that make it feel like we are buried under a foot of snow. Sometimes the path seems so easy that we get lazy and don't pay as much attention to where it's going. And often as we travel through life we are distracted by the scenery and what's going on around us, and we can easily end up wandering off the right path.

In our lives we are faced with many different obstacles and distractions on our path. Satan is very good at placing things in our way that will tempt us or confuse us. Sometimes he's happy if he can just get us to stop on the path. He loves to see us feeling lost, overwhelmed, or inattentive. Those are the times that the adversary nudges us and tries to entice us away from the right path.

It's comforting to know that we also have an ally on this path, to help us to defeat Satan's attacks and to guide us to our destination. Jesus told us that He will show us the way back to Heavenly Father. He has taught that us that it is a strait and narrow path that we'll have to travel. The scriptures don't mention the path being any one type, and I think that as we go through different experiences in life it is very similar to traveling a path through different terrains. But the good news is that Jesus has given us guides, helps, and directions to help us find the path and stay on it.

Jesus has not left us alone to travel the path to eternal life. He has marked the path and is in front of us, leading the way. He keeps calling to us, hoping that we'll stay focused on Him so that He can guide us to our destination. And if we stay faithful to Him, He will safely lead us by the hand to be welcomed home.


Leslie said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful insights! You are an amazing woman!!

Papa D said...

Amen - both to the post and to Leslie's comment.

I like the image of having to listen to His voice and follow Him - since the path isn't always easy to find. I see an application of the "lose you life to find it". If you are so focused downward that you lose sight of the ultimate objective, you can end up following any number of "your own" paths and completely miss "His path" - doing good, but never doing His will for you.

It's comforting to look down and feel safe; it can be scary to look up and trust that your feet will stay on a firm foundation - or at least propel you in the right direction. The first leads naturally to easy paths; the second often takes you straight through the rough brush. Such is the irony of life.

Papa D said...

Btw, I love the picture of the butterfly at the top of the blog. My favorite analogy of the resurrection is the changing of a caterpillar into a butterfly, so I really like the choice.

Mama D said...

I like the analogy of the different types of terrain we follow along the path. I envisioned various times in my life as you described the various scenery and obstacles we encounter. Jesus is an amazing ally and guide.

Thanks for another great post!