April McGowan

Well Worn Paths

I stood in front of an office building today and noticed that the paths the designer intended people to use were once again ignored.  You’ve probably seen that around buildings and houses before—people cut a path through the grass or bushes, often to take the easiest course.  It takes more than one person to use that path and wear down a nice groove in the earth.  So, when you see that, you know travelers before you found that to be the quickest way to their destination.  Unfortunately, this kills the grass, shrubs or flowers planted there.

I’m sure it’s very frustrating to the landscape designer, or architect, who laid out the sidewalks in a fashion best for traffic flow and then planted greenery there to make it attractive.  But humans often take the path of least resistance—the one they think will get them there fastest, even if it only saves them a few feet.

I sometimes forget that God has plans for me—and that my plans might not be His plans.  He lays out a course for me, but I forget and take the path of least resistance, the path I think will get me to where I want to be faster.  However, in doing so, I might lead others down that road with me, and it might not be the right place for any of us to be.  I can imagine God, the architect of life, being frustrated with me for not taking the course He intended me to take.  I might take a few shortcuts, or go the wrong direction entirely.  Thankfully, if we are repentant and acknowledge our mistake, we can look to our Good Shepherd, Jesus, to lead us back on the right track.  It might not be the easiest, but it will be the best.

The bible has so many references to paths, it’s hard to pick out the best ones, but here are a few I found today:

Proverbs 5:21  For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths.

Proverbs 4:11  I will guide you in the ways of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.

Psalm 17:5  My steps have held to your paths, my feet have not slipped.

Proverbs 3:6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

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