“I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”— Proverbs 4:11-13
I recently began walking my neighbor’s dog.
As I ventured out on the trail with both my dog and her dog, it became very apparent that they both had individual walking styles.
Her dog walks in a fairly straight line. My dog likes to veer left and right to find choice smells to sniff.
Her dog doesn’t get distracted much by other dog smells. My dog is always wanting to sniff a tree, a snow patch, or a stick.
Her dog doesn’t pick things up from the trail to eat. My dog is always swiping little bits of twigs or bark to munch on.
Her dog stays on the trail. My dog walks on the grass, the snow, or in the mud.
Bottom line, my dog likes to stray off the path and gets distracted easily.
And such is the Christian life at times. We try to stay on the straight and narrow path, but often get distracted by the world, other people, and our own sin. Enticing experiences beckon us to take another look, delicious (or not-so-delicious) feelings propel our thoughts elsewhere, and soon we are veering off the path, going down a different road with a different tune in our heart.
Unlike a dog, there is no giant leash yanking us back to the right path. But God’s love does reach out to us and where we find ourselves. We may mess up a situation or our lives in general, but God is there to bring us back to the right path, set us straight again, and love us anyway. We can take our dogs to obedience training, and in life we have obedience training as well. Through prayer, God’s Spirit, our circumstances, and our growing faith and love, we can learn to be obedient to God’s calling. A calling that keeps us on the right path.
Do you find yourself wayward today? Off the right path heading somewhere else? Confess your sins to God and turn toward Him today. You will be glad you did.
Prayer–“God of grace, I often stray off the right path and end up going somewhere else. I humbly submit my life to you and pray you will keep me going in the right direction. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”