The dust on the road made little “poofs” as I jogged down the path, no one but me in my world at the moment. I had not alarmed the birds, who continued to sing, and I could hear squirrels as they scratched in the leaves trying to bury a late acorn–or perhaps find one. I loved being alone, soaking in the beauty, and watching the creek, out of sight on the left, gurgle over the rocks as it went its merry way. How can everything not be alright in a world like this? The day was made to be enjoyed!
I slowed to a walk to savor every moment, knowing it would come to an end soon and I would have to return to my parked car, go finish my errands, and head home. Back to the computer, back to the business, back to the “daily grind.” But wait–first let me continue long enough to see what lies around the bend in the road! Anything this peaceful has to have a happy ending.
I decided to walk lighter, not making any more noise than possible, almost tiptoeing. Why? Maybe gut instinct, which had kicked in! I had no idea how far the path continued, but time seemed to have stood still for these precious moments. As I got closer to the bend, I was still soaking in the peace that permeated the scene. And then I rounded the curve, to the unseen. There, sitting quietly beside the path, about 100 feet in front of me, sat a mama bear, with two small cubs playing happily; after all, Mama was there to keep them protected. I stopped, backed up, and rounded the bend I had just traversed, and then flew on feet that would have won a marathon back to my car. I didn’t take that nanosecond to look back to see if she had been as alarmed as I, and was giving chase. I fumbled my automatic door key, but finally hit the right button. She was not behind me–all that fear, and nothing was chasing me.
I could not help but make the spiritual analogy: it’s part of who I am. How often do we think we can handle what might be around that next step in life, when we can’t see? May we never be so arrogant that we think we can go into any situation, not knowing the outcome, unless He is leading us there to do some work for him. We have no idea what lies ahead, but “He orders our steps (Psalms)” and leads us–unless we’re set on going our own way. Then He does not stop us, but let’s us proceed until eventually we get so lost, or so in conflict that we turn back and ask Him the way.
I pray I always go no further than God leads me. He has always BEEN faithful, therefore He will always BE faithful! If I am trusting Him with my eternity, how is it that I can’t trust Him with today, here, in this “nasty now and now”? Life isn’t always about beautiful paths and peaceful scenes: sometimes–ofttimes–it’s about the bears. But He is all we need. Is He all you need?
Dearest Father, when our hearts are so heavy that we cannot lift them, we think of the beautiful Psalm, now a song: ” Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God! But, Thou, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory and the lifter of my head [and my heart!]! (Psalm 3:2,3). Thank You for what You did for me on Calvary–thank You for the scars in Your hands and feet, and what they represent. Thank You for making Yourself so lowly and humble that You left heaven for us, who are so sinful! Thank You for the cross, Lord! Amen