“…He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake…” (Psalm 23:3 NASB)
While sitting in traffic waiting for a red light to change, I noticed a middle-aged blind man crossing the street at the signal. As he walked, he tapped his white cane left-right, left-right in search of obstacles that could trip him. Before reaching the other side of the street, however, he encountered a pothole and lost his footing. I watched as he strained to keep from falling. After regaining his balance, he was clearly disoriented as he turned away from his course and headed into oncoming traffic. Instinctively, I quickly rolled down my car window and loudly hollered two words: “Go Right!” Immediately, and without a moment’s hesitation, the man turned to the right. Within a few steps he safely reached the sidewalk. My heart sang, “Thank you, Jesus” as he went on his way, out of danger.
Aren’t we sometimes like that man? We start out heading in the right direction when suddenly a small pothole throws us off our spiritual course, the path of righteousness. A seemingly insignificant pothole called fear or anger, curiosity, loneliness, lust, insecurity, or even boredom can draw us away from the route our heavenly Father intends for us to take.
Three things struck me about the blind man that day:
First, his life was at once devoid of peace when he wandered off his intended path.
In the same way, we are prone to worry and apprehension when we abandon the peace and protection of the right path. While we may think all is well for a while, we won’t be able to avoid the consequences of any unwise choices made going our own way. Often, if we wander too long, we will notice our growing ambivalence toward the things of God. The peace of God is found on the path of righteousness alone.
Secondly, he did not hesitate to respond to my voice
I was fascinated by his trust. Could it be that he offered up a quick prayer to God for help at the instant he knew he was lost? Our God is faithful to respond to us when we pray for direction. But are we listening for His answer? Do we immediately respond to His voice as He guides us back on the paths of righteousness? The only way to get back on course is by knowing the way. We discover the way by seeking to hear from Him through His Word and prayer. Sometimes, as was the case in this situation, God will use people to help us get back on track. The choice is ours to heed the instruction or not.
Finally, he was safer on the path, than when he was “lost.”
While off course, he was in danger of being hit by one or several cars. Once back on the sidewalk the danger was eliminated, and I have to believe he was at peace.
Question we might ask ourselves are: Do we feel safe, peaceful today? Or are we hesitant to commit to the paths of righteousness. Our fear can keep us from saying “yes” to Him. Sometimes we turn from following the will and plan of God for fear He may ask more of us than we want to give; we worry He may send us into danger if we wholeheartedly submit to walking His way. On the contrary, I painfully learned that relinquishing our right to go our own way in exchange for His will always results in a deep down and even bubbling over joy. We will be confident of God’s pleasure with us for having followed His voice…no matter where He leads us.
Our friend the blind man lives in the dark 24/7. He must rely on his cane, his senses, prayer, and help from others to protect him from danger. Even though we have eyes to see, we are no less blind than he if we let the potholes of life veer us away from the paths of righteousness that bring glory to our loving heavenly Father.
Have you strayed off course? Listen! Can you hear Him? He’s calling to you —“Go Right!”
- Have you wandered from the path God intended for you?
- What would it take to get back on it?
- Do you believe He will keep you safe if you obey?
- What can you do to avoid dangerous potholes in the future?
Luke 1:68, 79
3 John 1:4
O gentle and merciful Father, I do want to return to your paths of righteousness. I submit myself once again to your plan for my life. I trust you to guide my faltering steps and turn me in the direction of your path of peace, for your glory. Amen