Psalm 23:3 (NIV)
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
We all face the same problem: we don’t always like the “right paths”. Those “no admittance” rocky ways look much more tempting than the admissible paths. Let me explain.
A couple of years ago there were some hikers hiking at Letchworth State Park in New York. It was a glorious fall day, made even more nostalgic by a train crossing over a bridge high above the gorge. Intrigued, they wondered if they could walk on that bridge. They were sure that the view would be unbelievable up there.
Apparently they weren't the only ones who thought this, for many were climbing up the side of the canyon, intent on reaching the level of the bridge! As they approached the railway, however, they noticed that a fence had been erected all around it. Where were all those hikers going? Maybe there was an open gate somewhere that would give us access to that bridge?
It’s then that they realized all these people were walking over a trodden-down, vandalized gate, stepping on and over a glaring warning: “Forbidden access to hikers”.
What surprised them was that no one was slowing down. No one even hesitated to ask themselves if it was prudent to ignore the no trespassing sign. As they looked out over the bridge, they weren't to see that it was covered with people.
They decided to remain on the hiking trail they were on, and they didn't cross the “no trespassing” barrier. Unfortunately very few people followed their example, and continued crossing the bridge. Soon the sound the whistle of a fast-approaching train could be heard ...
What happened with all these trespassers. Was there panic among them? Did the train slow down? Only one thing was certain: the train would get through no matter what.
They had chosen to take the right path, for in so doing, they avoided unnecessary adversity. And as an added bonus, as they hiked the “allowed” trail, they discovered autumn in all of its glory amongst the calmness of nature. The surrounding trees were full of reds and yellows and oranges, and fluttering golden leaves floated down onto the path, already strewn with a soft carpet of various colors. They would have missed all of this if they had followed the crowd and ignored the sign!
As we look at this story we can learn that the ways God lead us are truly worthwhile, and much more intriguing than the forbidden ways, where adversity lurks at every corner. God does care!
Dear Lord, as the things of this world try to pull us from path that You have for us we pray that we would keep our eyes focused on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.