Yesterday was our neighborhood-wide garage sale. We chose not to participate this year because I simply could not get it together, but the older kids asked if we could walk around and see what others were selling. I told them we could get out before the weather turned unbearably hot. Against my better judgment I let the younger two ride their bicycle and tricycle. With their money in hand I set out with my little shoppers.
As we travelled down the sidewalk I quickly realized the error in my plan. If 2 of my 3 kiddos were riding bikes, how would they carry their loot? Not long after that, I realized that wasn’t my only issue. We were walking a path we’ve walked many times before. I was accustomed to helping my youngest over the bumps and cracks in the sidewalk. Usually a little push is all she needs every now and then, but there was so much to look at with the garage sales she found it hard to keep her eyes on the sidewalk. She kept veering off the sidewalk and getting stuck in the space between the path and the lawns we were passing. I had to repeatedly pull her trike back onto the sidewalk. Talking to her and repeatedly saying, “Keep you eyes on the sidewalk” did not help. Eventually I found myself getting frustrated because it was happening so often. As I was opening my mouth to say, “Please just follow the path!”, I felt the need to close my mouth.
All of a sudden I could hear the voice in my head say, “Like you?” I couldn’t say a word because all these words started flooding my mind. “How many times have you been so distracted by everything around you that you ended up off track? There is a path laid for you and yet everything else grabs your attention and you struggle to simply continue ahead on the ‘sidewalk’ I’ve given you. I’ve helped you over bumps in the road only to see you distracted by something you thought was greener pasture. I’ve tugged and tugged at you to help set your ‘handle bars’ straight again and again.” Wow! I was NOT expecting that. We were just out for a walk.
The truth is for me it’s been really hard to follow the path. I’ve asked for God to simply give me the next step and there have been many days I parked myself on the side and refused to move. Other times the life I think I want or should have looks as interesting to me as the box of stuffed animals that caused my little one to roll into the grass. Apparently it’s hard for me to follow the path too.
Lord, thank you for all the ways you continue to speak and guide. Thank you for reminding me what kind of child I am. Thank you for all the times you wouldn’t allow me to stay stuck where I was. Thank you for your loving patience and kindness. If I for a minute thought I could be frustrated after a few minutes, I cannot imagine how you have felt after years. I pray you will give me the strength and courage to follow your will and stay the course. Amen.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.