Staying on Path


I went for a walk yesterday afternoon, as I am in the habit of doing in Victoria when I am here for work.  And so as I went out around the harbour I decided to stay on the seawall and walk out the west side of the harbour.  Only problem is that I kept losing the path…

7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.
Judges 3:7

There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.
Proverbs 14:12

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Matthew 7:13-14

Two different times, where the path had options or forks, I chose the wrong tine.  And after a couple of minutes on the wrong path I realized I wasn’t near the ocean anymore.  I was in a park or I was up a street into a neighbourhood.  No big deal.  I kept choosing right turns to get back to the seawall.  And I was able to get back on course every time.

As I walked, however, my missteps made me think.  Here I was on a path I have been on many times, and still I got it wrong yesterday.  That shouldn’t be.  Coulda shoulda woulda.  On a path I supposedly know, I can get off track.  And that made me think of the book of Judges, and how Israel kept walking with the Lord and then walking apart from God, and walking with the Lord and… you get the picture.

Turns out that the path we think we know can be hard to follow.
Not such big deal on the seawall. 
A big deal if it’s your path of relationship with God. 

We might question why God allows so many choices for us to exit his path or go astray.  We wouldn’t have it any other way, though, would we?  We don’t want a mandatory relationship with our creator.  We don’t want to be in a slave-master relationship that is forced.  Like Jesus, we want to know that we have an independent will and still say to the Father, “not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

As I stepped back onto the familiar path, watching the sea-planes take off and land in the harbour, humility welled up within me.  We can all step off the path without knowing.  No one is immune to the forces of the world.  In fact, if we think we are immune, we are probably more at risk than anyone else.

What right turns do you need to make?
How do you get back on path?
Are you willing to admit that you might have taken a fork?
This is worth thinking and praying about…

May we recognize our weakness,
And humbly follow the path God has set before us.
Watching for signs that we are off track,
And making the right turns to get back to God’s good path for us.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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