Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path.
I’ve been working non-stop for a month, with no days off. (Well, there was one day that I stayed home in the midst of sickness…but does that really count?) Today I’m finally enjoying a day off, hence the blog post. 😉
Just before the holidays, which led right into my crazy work schedule, I escaped to a lake for a couple of days.
Now, my kind of escape doesn’t involve hiking, canoeing, swimming, or anything exciting like that. I just wanted to stay at a simple (aka cheap) hotel, enjoy some solitude, have someone else cook my meals, read, pray, and look at a nice view.
One afternoon, while I was sitting on the rooftop dining area, I noticed a middle-aged man climbing the nearby hill, pulling a rope tied around his sheep’s neck. He was really fighting a battle. The whole way up, the sheep resisted his tugs, wanting to either stay, or try a different direction. He kept persisting, despite the stubborn animal’s attempts to redirect it’s leader. Eventually he succeeded in leading the sheep up the hill, behind some trees, and out of my view.
As I watched, I couldn’t help but consider the spiritual parallel. So often God is leading us, ok me, somewhere, and I resist. I think I know a better way to get there, or there is even a different place where I’d rather go. And I struggle and fight the whole way, pridefully ignorant of the fact that my Master is mercifully directing me to the best place.
A little while later, I saw a contrasting example. A young boy was guiding a cow up the road. I didn’t have my phone ready to snap a picture until he was already almost out of sight.
As I watched him, I realized that maybe this boy of around 12 years, was probably a better example than what I’d witnessed earlier in the day. Unlike the man I’d spotted before, this boy didn’t struggle, though the cow was also stubborn. He took a different approach. The boy walked behind the cow. When it tried to veer off course, he calmly took his stick, swatted it’s backside, and led the beast in the right direction.
I was thinking that maybe that was a more accurate picture of how God handles my (our) disobedience–or even attraction to temptations or whatever. He pushes me along, and disciplines me in order to get me refocused. Sometimes the discipline that I need is simple, like a little nudge. Other times it is more severe and painful, all depending on how far off I’m going from the straight path he has laid before me. All in all, He is walking with me.
LORD, teach me your way & lead me in a straight path as I desire to honor you through my journey.