When the Way Isn't Clear
Do you have something that you do daily that has become a habit? So much so you can do that thing practically without thinking? My morning walk has become that habit for me. First thing in the morning, my Aussie and I take a walk through the neighborhood. Part for fitness, part for 'business,' but mainly to get into creation, breathe in and out and let God say what he wants to as he wakes me to a new day.
Our neighborhood is not huge, so there are only a few paths to take. I know where each one goes, when to turn left and right, and how to get back home. I might create a few variations in the journey, but the sidewalks are familiar, and the way is sure. For the most part, I can let my mind and imagination wander as my feet take me around the neighborhood. Some mornings, I get so caught up in thinking and listening that I will arrive somewhere in the neighborhood and think, "How did I get here?! - I don't remember how I got here at all!"
Last week when I was on my morning walk, my sweet furry companion and I rounded a familiar corner, and we started down the same familiar sidewalk we'd walked many times before. This morning, however, the sidewalk was completely encompassed by an uncharacteristic heavy fog. Even though I'd been this way more times than I could count and could literally walk this path in my sleep (and probably have!), it somehow looked very different this morning. I was having trouble discerning where I was and gauging distance along the path as I walked through the very dense fog.
Is that the house where I typically take the right turn up ahead?
Wait- did I pass it already?
The fog was so dense it wasn't until I was right up on the familiar landscape that I actually recognized it. Everything was the same but somehow - very different. I knew where the path went. I knew how to get where I wanted to go; I just couldn't see the way clearly.
Here's what I could see... I could see right where my feet were.
I couldn't see in front of me hardly at all, but right where I was was very clear. And you know what, I took another handful of steps into the fog and looked down. Totally clear. As I looked ahead on the path, the way ahead continued to be covered in the thick fog. But as I walked, I realized that wherever my feet were - the path was clear. The very places that had been completely obscured by fog moments before were completely clear as I stepped into them.
Sometimes our journey with the Lord is like that. We are walking a familiar way with the Lord, and suddenly, we turn a corner onto a path that seems a bit unsure. The way is not as straightforward as it was, and we don't have the luxury of seeing all the upcoming twists and turns in the road. Where we might have even been on autopilot with the Lord and a bit disengaged in our walk with him, we suddenly are acutely aware that we need the Navigator to show us the path and where to get where He wants us to go.
We might not be able to see far down the path and all the way to the destination, but we can learn to trust him as He gives us clarity for the moment we're actually living in.
As much as we'd like to, we don't get to see the entire journey. Sometimes "here" is all we've got to hold on to. However, once we recognize He is with us, it is assuring to remember His presence in this moment is all we need.
The beautiful thing about walking with Him is that as we step out in obedience - even into the unknown - He gives us just what we need for that next step in the journey. And the next. And the next. It doesn't all come at once, but in the same way as a foggy sidewalk; if we're walking in faith and putting one foot in front of the other soon, we will look up and realize He's led us safely through. His presence, our guide.
Developing the habit of walking with him daily will assure us that even when the way isn't certain and the path isn't clear, we can trust the faithful hand of the father to lead us safely on the path He's laid out for us. One step at a time.
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. - Psalm 25:4 NLT