Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Detailed Directions? Not exactly...

I like detailed directions.

Extremely detailed.

If you ever need directions to my house, I don’t just say turn left on this street and right on that one. Oh no. I include important information such as “Approximately 8/10 of a mile after you turn left you’ll come to a curve that makes you feel like you should put your turn signal on. The curve is 1/10 of a mile from your next right turn.”

People love my directions.

Okay. Actually, they laugh hysterically when the read them, but the reality is, if I give you directions, you are not going to get lost. At least, not if you follow them.

This need for detailed direction is probably why I struggle with Psalm 119:105.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

I learned the verse as a child and my mental picture involved an enormous spotlight shining its powerful beam a good 100 yards down the path.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Oil lamps don’t give off that much light. We’re talking about just enough light to avoid stubbing your toe on a root or slamming into a boulder.

And this frustrates me.

After all, God is quite capable of giving detailed directions.

Have you seen the book of Leviticus? I mean honestly. Talk about details. (I like to think I get my detail issues from the Almighty—it’s nicer than admitting to being a bit OCD).

And talk about lighting a path. This is the God of the Shekinah glory cloud and the pillar of fire. God knows how to light up a path when He wants to.

And yet . . .

He seems to prefer to give me just enough information to take the next step.

No more. No less.

You can’t race along a path with that little bit of light. Each step must be measured. Each foot placement considered. You have to be on your guard at all times. And you have to have faith that the destination is worth the harrowing journey.

Of course, my faith is what’s at issue.

I have to trust that the One who lights my path, knows my path.

So I continue to step out, never knowing what’s next, but knowing He does.
from the archives
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2 comments:

Mary said...

While I'm not an extremely detailed person, I can relate to what you're saying Lynn! I like it better when God gives me long term directions, but there is a fun in ministering on the spur of the moment. You know, when you have a conversation with a cashier at Walmart, for several minutes...even though the store and other lines are full, but no one gets in behind you...Those are exciting moments to see God work!

Thanks for the reminder that I don't have to have all the directions in advance!

Vonda Skelton said...

I remember when I first realized the truth of the limited light we have on our path. Like you, I envisioned a spotlight, so I should always know what's ahead and what I'm going to do about it.

But when I absorbed the truth of one-step-at-a-time light, I realized how much more faith this requires.

And that's what He wants from us...faith.