As we left the store, his hand on my elbow gently pulled me to the left, correcting my path. I fell into step with him and he grinned. His hand slid down my arm to my hand and we continued our way around the mall. We've been married almost 37 years now, so he is used to me turning the wrong way no matter where we are or whether I am walking or driving.
Last year a friend was giving us a lift to the hospital. He asked if we went all the way into town or took another road. I said, "I turn at the flags" as my husband gave the street name. "Flags?" both men challenged. "Yes," I defended, "those flags right there!" The flags I used as a marker were on the corner of the street my husband had named. I could see both men shaking their heads and quietly laughing at me.
I guess I am directionally challenged.
Are you a logical, by-the-street-signs traveler or is your propensity, like mine, to watch for landmarks? Are you always aware of your path, or just naturally turn to the right when exiting any room?
Please, if you give me directions, don't just give me just an address, or tell me to go three blocks north. I don't know where north is. I need different specifics. Give me the address, but then tell me to go straight until I see the red house with the wrap-around porch, then turn right. Yes, yes, I could use Google maps or a GPS unit, but really, do you trust them? I know for my own home it takes people to the wrong side of the golf course, so without my additional description, they would be lost.
Also, turning right is safer than turning left, and you can still end up going the correct direction because three rights make a left. Right?
This year I also seem to be directionally challenged in both my writing and my faith.
I have had difficulty deciding what way to go this year. Is this a year to run ahead to see what is around the next corner? Or a year to rest, breathe deeply, and appreciate the present surroundings? Should I dig into an exegetical Bible study? Start a new way of reading through the Bible in a year? Do I have time for both? Should I focus on writing blog posts, work through a course, or work on another languishing project?
Do I sound out of touch with God, and maybe myself?
It feels like that some days. However, I trust the process God has often used in my life. Finding my way with a flashlight through the bush at night to a camp washroom. That's how God has worked in my life.
When I focus the flashlight beam on my feet, I see my next step. It is immediate and safer than tripping over tree roots. But it's only one step at a time. I don't see the bigger picture so I may turn right, onto a rabbit trail under low-hanging branches. Or I may unexpectedly run into a bear. Oh, my!
When I lift the flashlight, more of the path is illuminated giving me a better idea of where I am going. But now I may stumble more often on the rough path.
God's Word works like a flashlight in the dark.
Psalm 107:105 says,
"Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
A lamp to my feet, so I don't fall over rough ground. A light to my path to illuminate a larger purpose in my life. The light does not give the whole picture, showing me the end, and I may still encounter difficult situations or rocky times. Yet God is leading me. He is with me on the journey. He always has been with me, and I trust Him to continue leading me.
This year I may be directionally challenged, with no specific plans for writing or life, but as I meditate on God's Word, He will place his hand on my elbow and gently direct me. His Word will shine a lamp on my writing steps and a light on my faith as we continue through 2018.
photos courtesy of Stephanie Pohlmann and Pixabay.com
Marnie walks with God and writes from a small town on Highway 97, the Alaska Highway, past Dawson Creek at Mile Zero, a few miles past the turn to the curved Old Kiskatinaw Bridge, down a steep hill with a beautiful view, across a scary metal bridge, arriving at Mile 36. This is where you will find the sister town of North Pole, Alaska, a friendly church, wonderful recreational facilities including a professional golf course, and friendly people. If you arrive in Fort St John, you've gone too far and need to turn around. Visit Marnie's blog Phosphorescent.