Friday, October 30, 2009

The Worn Path

The fall colors are glorious this year. Because of an unusually early frost, the leaves have begun showing off their brilliant shades of crimson, yellow, and orange a bit sooner than is typical here in the south. With a definite chill in the air last weekend, my husband, Steve, and I set off with a few of our Sunday school students, to conquer the corn maze at Cagel's Dairy Farm. Our class, made up of seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students, had chosen this particular outing and the three that attended, were not to be deterred by the cloudy skies or cold temperatures. Did I mention that, contrary to popular belief, we really do wear winter coats here in the south?

Once we purchased our tickets, we were ready to head into phase one of the challenging maze of maize. There were ten signs with various questions posted throughout the maze. Each multiple choice question was followed by three answers. If you chose the right answer, you were able to follow the instructions to find the next sign. Each of our students had an opportunity to be the leader. It was humorous to almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they came to a decision-making spot along the path. Should I turn right? Maybe left? No, I'll continue straight ahead...I think. Early on in our quest, 'eeny, meeny, miny, mo' seemed to be the most popular decision maker!

After making it to the third sign, Steve made a clever observation. All of the paths that had successfully led us to the next sign, had been worn paths. It was clear that many feet had traversed the same path before us. Some of the other paths at the cross points were less worn and had patches of grass growing on them. Ah-ha! A visible clue in addition to the written clues that were provided for us on the signs! Although we didn't make it through the maze without errors, Steve's observation certainly proved useful.

As I'm busy living this thing called 'life,' I inevitably come to those crossroads-moments where I must make a decision. Do I continue forward? Should I pursue something different? What should I do? I'm challenged by the words of the prophet Jeremiah, "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls" (6:16a, KJV). Oftentimes I'm tempted to listen to my own voice of reason. Unfortunately, this approach is not uncommon. Take a look at the second half of the verse in Jeremiah: "But they said, We will not walk therein" (6:16b). Ouch! Too often that's a picture of my rebellion against God's plan for me.

In order to successfully navigate the path of life God has for me, I must submit to His ultimate authority and search for the 'signs' He gives me to keep me moving in the right direction. The 'signs' include seeking direction from His word, spending time with Him in prayer, and getting counsel from other godly people in my life. Will I make it through life's maze without errors? Because I'm human, the answer is, "Absolutely not!" But I can take hope in the fact that God's word is, "...a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). And I can cling to the truth Joshua penned, "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:9)

When you're at a crossroad, what is your response? I'll go my way? Maybe I'll try God's way? Take a look at God's definition of success: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (Joshua 1:8). As you navigate life's path today, know that submitting to God's will in every area is a tried and true method for success. You have His word on it!


  1. I'm learning to stop and be still, asking for direction instead of thinking I know which way is right. It's definitely a process!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Kristen - You're wise and correct, it's a lifelong process! Enjoy these last 2 days of October!! :)

  3. There is not wondering with me. The safest place in the whole wide world is on the will of God.

    His path may seem strange, and even too hard, but is always perfect.

    Thanks Maria for the words of wisdom. Thank you Lord that you will do what you have promised. Never leave us or forsake us.

  4. Hi Tamika! The safest place Is in God's will! Thanks for the reminder. Aren't God's promises good?! Have a great weekend.

  5. Thanks for sharing this, Maria. What a good reminder of the important things, as opposed to the things we often get caught up in. I liked the comparison of the maze, too. Blessings!

  6. Karen - we do tend to get side-tracked, don't we? Thanks for your sweet coments! Have an enjoyable weekend!