I love nature. I love to go anywhere where I know I will see a lot of it, whether it’s by off-roading, walking, or hiking. I love taking pictures of the sights I see too. It does not matter if what I see is something as small as a dragonfly, or something as big as the scenery around me; I will snap a picture if it catches my eye. But, do you know one of my favorite things to take a picture of is? The answer: where I am walking. I like to turn around and snap a shot of where I am. Doing this has led to pictures of the forest, overgrown paths, and well-maintained fenced-in paths. And often, I would like to think I am spontaneous about where I am going to walk. But I am not.
A lot of times, I have questioned whether to walk down a path or not. Sometimes, I also have to decide which direction to go when there are multiple choices. Some decisions are easy to make, while others aren’t.
Are you faced with different paths to walk down yourself?
Decisions can be hard to make. If you are anything like me, sometimes it is hard to figure out and distinguish the right path from the wrong one. Then, I feel like I have to make a decision right away like there is no time to wait. I need to act now! So, then I feel even more pressure in deciding the right path to walk down. Sometimes I can be a complete mess when presented with multiple paths that I can walk. But proverbs shed some light on the decisions we have to make.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
To lean not on our understanding means we would be leaning on the Lord instead, right? Think about what it means to be leaning on something. When you are leaning, what are you doing? You are putting your whole weight on the thing you are leaning on, right? You are putting your weight up against something and trusting that it will support you. You are resting. Who better to trust/lean on when faced with multiple choices or paths to walk down other than God? You have time to make a decision. Sometimes it is needed to stop our walk at a fork in the path, lean up against a tree, rest, and spend some time with God. Ask for his guidance before jumping onto a path. After all, he knows the best path to walk down. And, in a way, he will make your path straight. In that, he will bring clarity in your decisions if only you trust him enough to lean on him. After all, he is willing to guide you.
What happens if you do not go to God with the choices you are faced with, though?
One time, when I was walking with my sister, we decided to go down this one path we have not walked before. This path was very unkempt and wild. But, those types of paths are where the most beautiful sights can be seen, am I right?! Anyway, we started down that path, thinking it will be a good one. Well, we thought it would be at first. The path itself was getting more and more overgrown, though, with very high brush and weeds the further we went in. At some points on the path, these brushes and weeds were crowding around us so much that they were rubbing against us. Then guess what happened? The birds stopped singing and it got very still all around. We decided to turn around and head back when this happened because we also started hearing rustling in the bushes near us. We were on high alert on the way back. Oftentimes, no matter the choices, we have to be on alert.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
Lions attack straggling animals that are alone. A lot of predators will attack if they are being disturbed, are hungry, or see the other animals as weak, helpless, or lost. It is up to us to be alert in our surrounding situations. I shudder to think of what could have happened if my sister and I ignored the stillness around us.
But honestly, the Holy Spirit in us will intervene when we start heading down the wrong path or make the wrong choice. There will always be a feeling of conviction when we make the wrong decision and start heading down the path. It is yet another way for God to guide us. The conviction is a reminder to keep our eyes on God.
We may have to turn around and head back when we feel conviction, but then that will direct us onto the correct path. Do you know what my sister and I did after we turned around on that path and headed back to the clearing we started from? We went down another path. A path that was full of birdsong and ground squirrels.
See, it is always important to lean on, submit, and keep our eyes on the Lord. When presented with choices, or a fork in the path, we need to trust God to guide us. He knows the best path to take. And we need to be thankful for the Holy Spirit in us too. He is always guiding us when we did not even ask for guidance. He makes us alert and convicts us when we have chosen the wrong path. Our steps are truly established.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.Proverbs 16:9