We took a road less traveled today. A natural “road” through the forest, from our house up to the ridge at the highest point of our property. What was once an open trail was now thick and overgrown.
Briar bushes up to our chests. Waste-high wild grasses. Our walking sticks became make-shift machetes. Pushing the undergrowth to the right and the left. Beating it down enough to step on it and make our way through.
Where was my machete hiding???
There were plenty of dried-out tree limbs, too. Easy to toss aside. But one large tree had fallen across the path, blocking the way. The remains of its stump was six-feet high. From the outside, no one would ever have suspected it had rotted from the inside out.
It got me thinking, Lord. About the paths we choose in life. About the Path You walk as You invite us to follow.
Is it possible I saw both in the very same overgrown path?
A well-worn path is evidence of traffic. Maybe that’s the best condition of our “path” to You, Lord? A path we are traveling so frequently there is no time for anything to grow up that might hinder our forward progress? A path where we are using our “spiritual machete” so often and well, we can walk and run and dance with equal ease?
“… let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entagles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Could a well-worn path also be evidence of an “easier way” that could leave us worse off, Lord? Soft? Lazy? Untested? Misguided? Deluded into thinking an easier life means we are worthy of only Your blessings and a harder life means we have somehow earned Your curses?
“Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
“Consider it pure joy… whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
“… have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who… made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant. And… humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5,7-8)
Our “spiritual machete” is never hiding… is it, Lord? Isn’t it always within reach? If we will invite You to use it in the way(s) we need it most?
“… My Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2)
Thanks for today’s hike, Lord… and for The Path that is just ahead.