Love aims to follow God’s Will (Part 3 – the big finale)

by Craig on December 17, 2010

At the end of the hike, the 500 foot tall canyon walls would meet.

I was hoping to get some sort of an answer by then.

We’re continuing along on a hike. I’ve been taught much already in this Utah Canyon:

To stay within the big walls

To know there’s up, down, level, pink sand, and peace.

And so the hike continues.

Up until this point the path beneath my feet was very well defined.  It’s easy to choose when decisions place us either well within the canyon walls or way outside of them – and the path is easy to see. But I was about to discover that even safely within the canyon walls things aren’t always crystal clear.

When I decided to leave the charming little marsh area, I noticed that the once obvious path I had been traveling on, didn’t continue. Instead of one path, there were a multitude. (it’s that picture up top)

Ruh Roh.

What do I  do when I have no single best path, but instead, many seemingly comparable ones – all of them within the canyon walls?

After grumbling (a time honored response) I took out the canyon map I was provided with earlier.  Remember, the map I didn’t care for so much?

Immediately I was struck with the obvious thought that I have a map. We have a map. We have guidebook – an owner’s manual. It’s the primary source of answers for the difficult questions.

So out came the canyon map. The completely inane lovely instructions read, “The path eventually heads to the south wall of the canyon and follows a sandy wash until a dry waterfall blocks any further travel”.

“Well, that certainly clears things up!”

In looking for an answer I found more questions. How soon was “eventually”? Which path headed south? Which way was south anyway? What’s a sandy wash? And how am I going to get to the end of the canyon with a dry waterfall blocking any further travel?

It hit me. That guidebook I just talked about? I often look to it for clear-cut marching orders, when the pages are much more likely to yield only general principles. I grumble.

But what I now saw as clearly as the paths surrounding me was that God has graciously given us freedom of choice within clearly defined limits. We have lots of different paths to follow, majestic walls to protect us, and quality directions to study.

Breezing in was lesson number four. If all my options are within the canyon walls I need only to apply the general Scriptural guidelines, decide prudently, move forward without timidity, rely on God to cover my back, and I will arrive at the end of the canyon safely.

I may be delayed. I might even get hurt if I choose wrongly (or rightly). But within the canyon walls there is ultimate protection.

So, I followed the general directions.  I evaluated the paths and chose one that seemed to be going south.  In just a few minutes I was touching that afore mentioned south wall. “Oh!“ I said to myself, “So that’s a sandy wash.”

Interestingly enough, looking back, I think most of the paths would have led there.  Much sooner than I would have thought possible I was at end of the canyon.

I was able to touch each stunning canyon wall at the same time – one hand on that “south” wall and the other on the north. Then I looked up and discovered that the dry waterfall that “blocked any further travel” was indeed, right here. The dry waterfall was the end of the canyon itself – my goal all along. Who’d have thunk?

So all the lessons got wrapped up with a final bow. A month long cross country trip – then a three-hour hike – yielded my answer.

Within God’s moral will,

and in the freedom of choice provided there,

motion forward,

without timidity,

but with power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)

will get me where God wants me.

This is truth,

regardless of my human mistakes

and the broken world within which we live (Rom 8:28).

All bets are off should I leave the canyon – but that’s another story.

In God’s love.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon December 17, 2010 at 3:31 am

This is so right up my canyon…alley… canyon… which ever. This is/was the whole basis for my blog at the outset. http://hikingtowardhome.blogspot.com/2009/03/hiking.html

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Craig December 17, 2010 at 9:30 am

Amen Sharon. God has shown me some amazing things on hikes, by the sea, on mountains, in canyons, in deserts – kindred spirits. God Bless.

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I am His beloved December 17, 2010 at 9:44 am

Two things I loved.
“In looking for an answer I found more questions”..sometimes this journey brings more questions than answers..which leads me to the second thing I love..
“Within God’s moral will,and in the freedom of choice provided there…
will get me where God wants me.”

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Craig December 19, 2010 at 11:01 am

The trick is a) to stay inside the canyon walls, and b) move forward with no timidity, but God’s power, and prudence, and love (2Tim 1:7). And to remember this when I forget.

God bless you Julie

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Sharon O December 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

Good post.
I am trying to figure out how to subscribe to your site via email. I do have some I follow on google but it is much easier to have it in my email box. Can you help with that?

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Craig December 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Sharon, I’d love to have my ninja kitties deliver this to your email. Though I’ve never done it myself I’m pretty sure it will work. Go up and to and to the right on the sidebar where it says “Subscribe”. Hover over that and a box opens up – on the left is to subscribe by a feed like google – and to the right an Envelope icon – below that envelope it says FeedBlitz – that’s what you click on – then it opens a site and you can enter your email. Please let me know if you have trouble. I am grateful you want to subscribe.

God Bless you.

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Anonymuss December 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm

It is comforting to know that when we ‘wobble’ on our path or choose one of several within the walls that God can still get us to where we need to go.

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Craig December 19, 2010 at 11:04 am

A. It’s really that simple. Together with the wanting of God’s will, praying for it, and then these canyon lessons. To keep these in mind is the simple and blessed life that God wants for you and me. We just need to keep remembering. You being here and talking this through with me – that helps me to remember. God bless.

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Debbie December 18, 2010 at 3:29 am

I love this and it helps so much. Comfort bringing! How often do I wonder if I’m doing what God wants me to? Keep moving within the canyon . . . :) Thank you! And, I’m going to try to subscribe again too, per directions. Didn’t get it right before. :)

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Craig December 19, 2010 at 11:24 am

Let me know if the subscribing thing works Deb. And if you sense me forgetting to move forward in the canyon, in the peace provided by praying for and wanting God’s will, please remind me of what I’ve written. God Bless you.

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Sorta Southern Single Mom December 18, 2010 at 5:18 am

Great parallel!

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Craig December 19, 2010 at 11:08 am

Thank you much. But this whole canyon thing, the whole analogy – it was all God – he made it – he placed me there (I didn’t mention something about God’s timing, I was delayed on my trip by one day and if I wasn’t – a huge torrent of rain had washed this canyon out and made it unhike-able on the day I would have arrived – if not for the delay.)

Thank you so much for visiting.

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Joyce L Gibson December 19, 2010 at 12:07 am

My dear grandson, you write heart to heart. Please keep it up. We need your insights.

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Craig December 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

GJ,

To see you here is a great GREAT gift. If you approve – then I know I’m on the right track. God Bless you

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