How Do I Get There from Here?
Not long ago I was making my way to visit someone in a really small town. I was given the address and immediately recognized the street name; there was no need to turn on Google maps since I was so familiar with the area. But perhaps I do not always know as much as I think!
After turning onto the street of the residence I was to visit, I started looking for the house number that I was given. When it seemed like the numbers were getting close to the one I was hunting I never saw the one I was looking for. After making another pass down the street I still didn’t see it, so I stopped and asked a young lady if she knew which house the person I was looking for lived in but that proved to be unhelpful since she had no idea who I was searching for. I figured I was starting to appear like a suspicious person in the neighborhood so I gave up the search and called the person I was attempting to visit. Things started to make sense then.
Even though I was familiar with the area and was on the right street, there was one thing I had forgotten: the part of the street I needed to be on was separated by a railroad track and there was no crossing to go straight to it; I had to take a couple of other streets, cross the tracks, then turn onto the road I was looking for. It all became quite clear with a few simple instructions. I suppose I should have turned my navigation system on after all!
Thinking back at that incidence, I am reminded that no matter how many times you go up and down the wrong road, it still will not lead you where you need to be. Only the right path leads to the desired destination. And in our spiritual lives, there are a lot of roads and pathways to choose from. Some of them might appear attractive on the surface and even have the appearance of providing much sought after happiness, but they ultimately turn out to be a dead end journey.
To express his desire to follow the path that God had for him, King David called out to God to show him the right way. In Psalm 25 he expresses his desire for God’s guidance: “Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long” (verses 4-5, New International Version). What a simple, yet profound, plea flowing from the heart of one who sought after God’s direction for his life!
In this portion of the Bible the writer is asking for God to teach and guide him according to the ways of God. We should all have the desire for God to direct us to his ways, but we must bear in mind that to make such a request of the Lord must bring along with it a willingness to follow His guidance and live according to His teaching; it does little good to be taught and directed while failing to utilize what is given. If, in my search for the residence I was planning to visit the other day, I had ignored the directions I was given over the phone by the one who told me exactly how to get where I needed to go and if I had insisted on continuing to travel the wrong way I would have never reached my destination. But when I did what I was told, things quickly worked out just fine. We can be confident that following God’s directions leads to a good life with a good outcome.
Are you moving up and down the paths of life without finding the fulfillment that you desire? Like King David, ask God to teach and guide you in His ways and then follow the directions He gives you. We can all rest assured that He always leads us aright.