Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Right Path

I couldn’t have timed it better if I’d tried. Every now and then I get in the mood for a certain movie. Several days ago, my husband and I felt like it’d be fun to see Leap Year again. So I put it in our DVD mailing queue. Guess when it arrived? Yup. Leap day. So, of course we had to watch it. Our oldest daughter sat down with us too. Now, here’s a spoiler, so if you haven’t seen the movie, be forewarned. But when the heroine decides to say ye

s to the proposal of her original intended (rather than the hero of the movie), my daughter asked, “Why’d she say yes?”

Good question. My answer came from another scenario in my life lately.

Have you ever had God “put someone on your heart”? He’s done that with me this week. And as I’ve prayed for this gal, it occurred to me: she’s on a path. She’s older than I am so she may feel her identity is tied up in the path she’s on. (I say that because I’ve certainly done that.) She may feel there’s no way out. The expectations of others might keep her on that path. She may be too tired to try something new. Fear of the unknown. Fear of rejection, or abandonment. She has friends down that path.

So, that’s how I answered my daughter: the heroine is on an intended path. She doesn’t want to deviate from it. (Even though the original path is not necessarily the best place for her, which is the case in the movie.)

We have so many choices in our lifetimes. Whether or not to get married. Have children, or not? Whom to vote for. What our policies will be. What our standards will be. And if a person establishes themselves as a moral person, they’ll probably stick close to that their entire lives. Or if a person sees himself as a rebel, an outcast, he may conduct himself as a rebel “should.” That’s the path he’s on. Why change it?

Why change it? Well, first of all, who can?

I’ve tried to change myself. I can do some things on my own. But I cannot, no matter how hard I try, change the deeper things in my heart and mind. Only God can do that. I’ve been on the wrong path sometimes. And God has gotten me steered down the right one. I’m talking after salvation. I’ve thought I knew the best thing, thought I was doing what God wanted, and He then has directed me to go a different direction. Wonder of wonders. I can’t even find the right path for my life’s many mini-journeys without God’s help. He’s the only one who can see the big picture.

So, I pray for my friend, and for you, dear reader. If you’re on the wrong path, may you recognize that God has the maps. He knows where you should be, what will be the most beneficial for you and for those in your life. He wants to guide you. Don’t stay on a path that isn’t His choosing for you. It’s not worth it. So, no matter what others expect, no matter how much of your identity is tied up in it, be willing to shift directions. Be willing to humble yourself and ask God to show you. Why change it? Because there is joy when you’re on the right path. There is purpose when you’re on the right path. There is true abundant life.

Go to the right path. And here’s how you get there: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Begin by choosing Him.

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