Yesterday was an unseasonably beautiful day. After weeks of cold and wet weather which kept us cooped up in the house (what many of you probably call Fall), the weather suddenly turned sunny and warm. I took the kids to one of our favorite parks to go hiking and spend some Sabbath rest together.
We walked along paths carved by rain water, twists and turns created as running water tried to find the fastest way down the hill. As the kids were enjoying running and jumping along the “zig zag path,” I noticed a train track running almost parallel to us.
The juxtaposition of winding paths created by nature and the straight lines of a railroad track created by man.
We desire straight paths for our lives. We build straight tracks for trains, straight roads for cars, and pray to God for clear direction and straight paths for our lives.
How much of our struggle is desiring the clear, straight path, yet always finding a winding one?
We seldom find straight paths for our lives. As we journey through life, we go through twists and turns, hit dead ends and have to turn around, or take a wrong turn and wander lost for a while until we rejoin the path.
As my children and I took turns choosing which turn to take, which fork in the road to choose, I thought how much like life these choices are. I didn’t have a map of the park to help us choose, hadn’t walked these paths before. We based our choices on which path looked clear and inviting and most beckoned to our hearts.
In life, we also have to make choices, decide which fork in the road to take. Often we pray for guidance, for discernment, for God to illuminate the straight path. We don’t want to take the winding road, the detours, the wrong turn. We want the right answer and we want a clear, straight path.
What if, instead, we embraced the winding path in our lives?
Even the twists and turns, detours, dead ends, and wrong turns can enhance our journey. Sure, we should try to avoid the treacherous paths, the ones God doesn’t have planned for us. But, what if God has purpose in the winding path, in the uncertainty of trusting Him to be our guide?
As we hiked, we turn a turn that led us to creek. It was beautiful there in the creek bed and we enjoyed some time to pause and skip rocks in the water. As I looked at the path, I noticed it continued on the other side of the creek. The water was too high to cross in this season, so we were at a dead end; but, in another season when the creek was dry, the path would continue.
In this season, our path led to a pause, a time of reflection, a momentary detour, but was one of the highlights of our hike. In another season, it would have served a different purpose. What if we viewed some of our life’s detours this way, too?
Any path, even one that twists and turns, can be good as long as God’s walking it with us.
I want to remember this hike as I continue to step into God’s journey this year. I don’t have a map for where He’s leading and maybe I should stop asking for one. Instead of trying to figure out where He’s leading me and what it all means, maybe I just need to choose the most inviting path and just follow. Even if the path has twists and turns or leads to a dead-end, there will be learning and experiences along the way, maybe even a pause or two to soak in the beauty of God’s world around me.
The path I want is straight and clear in following God, not straight because I have carved out my own path.
[callout]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 direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)[/callout]
Sharing with: Testimony Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Coffee for your Heart, Coffee and Conversation, #TellHisStory, Fellowship Fridays, Friendship Friday
Carla Smith says
Good Description of life
Kathryn! I love this. To finally surrender to His hand on my journey- that is the peace and joy He wants us to have! I love this post! I’m glad our paths crossed- even if it was by blogging! blessings and hugs to you and yours!
Thanks, Cindy! While following His path can be difficult, it sure does bring peace and joy! Blessings to you!
Holly Barrett says
Oh how I’d much rather have the straight path!! Thanks for your encouragement on this journey, Kathryn!
Me too! Actually, I’d like the map, with turn by turn navigation and traffic updates. 🙂 But, guess that’s not what we get, so I’d better get comfortable with the winding, unknown path.
Hi Kathryn, we’re having unseasonably beautiful weather where I live too! So true that we want the straight and narrow path, the quickest way from A to Z. But God sometimes takes us down a winding path. Sometimes I tell myself that my destination is not as important as the fact that GOD is at my side leading.
How I’d love to know the destination and when I’ll get there, but trying to learn how beautiful and formative the journey is, too.
Oh my goodness, this was spectacular! I just posted on this very verse last week, so right off the bat you had my attention. Sometimes I get confused when the path has twists and turns I wasn’t expecting. But as you say, as long as God is there with me, no matter how twisting the path is – it is a good path. I think often times I ask God for a map so I can see where we are going, but you put it so beautifully when you encouraged us to instead just follow our heavenly Guide. Such a great image you give us. Thank you for this post!
Loved your post on this verse! Trusting God in those twists and turns and uncertainties is hard. Definitely doesn’t come naturally for me – but I’m learning any path that God is laying before me must be good and I need to enjoy the journey with Him, even when the path takes me places I don’t want to go.
Such truth here! I am at a fork in the road with our church prayer group. God must want it to change direction but the easy thing would be to stop having them. I am enjoying the fact that God knows what is ahead and can be trusted! He will lead us down our winding path!
I heard something on the radio today that when the way forward seems unclear, that’s the time to slow down and not make any decisions. Spend time listening to God and trusting that He’ll make clear the path. Prayers for your decision and next steps – and that God will illuminate the next one for you.
Lisa notes... says
I was just reading somewhere today about our path being an intentional winding one. We do need just to accept it and be thankful, instead of thinking it always needs to go straight as an arrow. Thanks for doubling up on this reminder for me today, Kathryn!
I like that idea that our path is intentionally winding. I think it’d be boring if we really did get a straight path. This definitely is a reminder I need to hear over and over.
That is my favourite scripture, thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings
Cathy Kennedy says
I love this verse from the Bible, and it’s perfect as we face a winding road ahead. DH and others with the company he works have or will lose their jobs on the 30th. This isn’t something new to us. We’ve walked this path all too many times over the years, and like before, I will trust God to open another door when this one closes. Hopefully, we can stay in Knoxville, TN, a place we call home after 35 years, but will embrace God’s direction for our lives. Please, remember us in prayer. Ask God to illuminate the path He wishes us to follow. Sometimes our own desires cloud our thoughts. Thanks so much and it was a real joy to meet you this morning on Friendship Friday! I’m now following you. 😉
Cathy, saying a prayer for you now. These life changes and uncertainties can be so trying. Praying for God to show you the next steps and to guide you through this next twist in your path. May you walk steady in faith, trusting that God is walking side by side with you.
[email protected] says
mmmm … your beautiful children, the winding path, embracing what’s right in front of us with gratittude … I’m appreciating your words today, Kathryn.
may your weekend be filled with more serendipitous moments, friend …