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Show us the way back to you

We are what we eat.

We resemble the company we keep.

We become what we think about.

We are not who we think we are.

Beloved, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Phil 4:8

We are always growing into ourselves.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~ Phil 4:9

Come, Lord Jesus,

Show us the way back to you.

Guardrails for the Christian Life

Early on, the life of faith looks beautiful in the distance, but very confining up close. So many rules. So many prohibitions. So many boundaries. But the guardrails prevent us from experiencing the consequences of the natural laws during our early learning.
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But our persistence pays off. Maturity is unconcerned with guardrails, only the beauty in the distance. We have one who guards before and behind, to the right and to the left.

the path of freedom

“I have come, not to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them.” ~ Matthew 5:17

The path toward right

It’s so hard to stay on track. What with everything pulling us this way and that. Attractive things. Tempting things. Necessary things. They all tug at our sleeves insisting we pay attention. Perhaps this is something of the sense Jesus had in the crowd when the woman who had suffered hemorrhages for years touched the hem of his clothes and was immediately healed. It stopped him into asking “Who touched me?” because he felt the power that had gone out of him.

I wonder about the power going out of me by all this tugging and touching and tempting. Is it dribbling and leaking? Or is it the power of healing to those whom I pass? Am I so determined to stay the course, persist in my doing, struggle through any obstacle, that I apply all of my power to my own path? Because that, I fear, is what happens when I fix my eyes on an objective and insist on getting there in my own strength.

“He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake…” Psalm 23 says. Not, he jumps me straight to the end because I am special or because I have been well-behaved or even because he chooses to. He guides me on the path toward right. The ‘not right’ in me gets me off track. People call this ‘not-rightness’ sin. The Bible calls this not-rightness sin. And we suppose it stands on the path between us and Goodness. It separates us from God, we say, and that seems so.

But what separates may not be something that stands between. It may very well be something that stands behind and calls, or stands next to and tugs, or passes near and tempts. All it takes to draw me off course is a slight misalignment. So, I must attend to my guide, moment by moment.

How many paths of righteousness are there? I don’t know. But they all lead to the foot of the cross. And from each of our vantage points that direction will look a bit different. Almost as if we each stood and looked at the shadow cast by the sun’s beams spilled on the cross itself. The way would look straight from where we are. How simple! But as we walk, the sun rises and the sun sets and the path ebbs ever so slightly. Following it requires constant attention, supreme diligence and everlasting patience when clouds descend. All character traits I expect God intends to sow in me, not to battle death or defeat sin; He has taken care of that. No, I expect they are the power of God to heal. Heal me and heal others.

So many paths.

So we can journey onward toward the foot of the cross, the gateway to the Father Himself. Same gate. Same Way. Infinite number of paths.

Funny, during Lent the path has a different feel under my feet – a sodden, squishy, slosh. And there is a beautiful reflective quality to it, a sort of darkened, deepened, glow. Almost as if the shadow is cast on a lake and I am, we are, walking on water. The cross is planted on firm ground right at water’s edge. Set there to welcome travelers who are damp from effort. “Come on in and dry off,” it seems to say.

Hey, if we are baptized into new life, surely we can be dried off into Kingdom living.

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