Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Ups & Downs
Friends, relatives, and I, also, have sometimes lamented that life is so complicated, that we are disappointed when, just when things seem to be “going our way”, life makes us change. We act like life owes us a smooth road, an uncluttered path, and even a push in the right direction.
From my hilltop home, I can see a town in the distance. As the old saying goes, “as the crow flies” it’s not far. Taking the road to get there, however, is not a direct path. We have choices. My husband and I were just discussing, on our last trip into town together, which roads made the shortest route. One choice seems to be nearly all downhill; coasting without using gasoline or any effort by the driver or the car appears to be the best choice. We decided to test it, taking that way in, and another way back home again. I have said that I like the coasting way much better, the other way is a narrow road with a continual succession of hills and valleys. It happens to be that road, with all the ups and downs, is the shortest route.
I think life is much like that. It’s so much easier to coast than to labor with the ups and downs of life. When we are up, we can see our future so easily, but then we decide to coast, and we end up down the hill. Coasting may have some value in travel, but in our lives, it can be quite dangerous. There is another alternative, that of asking God for a straight path. It appears from reading in Proverbs 3:5-6 that we can do that, but it comes with a condition. First “…lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him.” Then-- He will make your paths straight.