Back home on our family farms the stars shine brighter, the air is clearer and the way just seems more sure. I suppose that's a part of the known, the familiar. I don't have to keep monitoring my steps. It's open space, and I know the paths. I know where the fence rows are. I know where I can easily swing over the barbed wire... and where I'll get caught. I know where the sun will rise and how it will fade behind the trees again come dusk. I know that there will be three hot meals, when they'll be served and where I'll sit. And if I've wondered too far, I know the sound of the cast iron dinner bell. There's an ease about that.
Sometimes we find ourselves in new experiences, in new places, with new people and the path is uncut. An adventure for sure! This prairie girl loves the untamed, the untrod, the unexplored! But when there are no boundaries and no road markers, no worn trail smooth and sure, you have to know how to find your way.
I stood easily gazing at the fire, roasting a last set of marshmallows to perfection. Patient. Slow. So worth the wait when you get it right. I saw my Dad's broad frame draw two small boys near. Under his strong arm and low, sure voice they learned how to find their way. My daddy taught them to find true north. No crutches, no boundaries, no road signs... just a clear night sky over the prairie.
I listened. I couldn't help drawing near. Dad helped us read the map in the sky. It's always there. It may grow cloudy. It may be dimmed. But with patience, and a willingness to be still and wait on clarity, it will still be there... and you will find your way.
But what if I don't wait? What if I'm in uncharted territory? I know where I want to go, but I don't wait? I just go... because I know the destination so clearly. ... In all likelihood, I'll never make it. I will stumble and fall and lose my way entirely. As badly as I might want to reach the great vista I know awaits, I must carefully navigate the way... I must wait on my true north.
This is so much easier for me in physical journeys than in my life's walk. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt one of my greatest struggles. When I clearly feel God's will, God's intent, God's destination for my life... I take off running... skipping over rough terrain like the hurdles I loved to sail over as a girl. Come to think of it, I remember saying to my Daddy more than once, "I know where I'm going." Only to hear him reply, "But do you know how to get there?". I'm learning the hard way that I must slow down. The destination is not going anywhere if it is really His intent for me. It will be steadfast.
He patiently calls my name, until I breathlessly turn back. He picks me up with arms of grace and a shake of His head and says,
"Now child... not just My will... My way."
"Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord," John 1:22-24 KJV
For in my haste, I will miss the path He means for me to experience... the whole journey! Isn't that the adventure?! I will miss camping under the night sky to reclaim rest. I will miss being fed and nourished. I will miss the beauty that surrounds me. And most importantly I will miss growing, laughing, singing, dancing, gazing at the night sky with those who share the way.
I am about to embark on a whole new chapter of my life, and I am so full of anticipation that I keep bolting ahead without waiting on Him to show me more than His will... but His way. Tonight I went out to watch the sunset with a new ease in my heart. His will, His plan for me is sure and steadfast. Tonight I choose the gift of His way, as well. He has set my gaze upon Him, True North, and says, "Now, child, walk. Watch My way... And savor the journey."
Stubborn, midwestern prairie girl. It takes me a few charges out of the gate to learn. But He never gives up.
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." 2 Tim 1:7
From my heart,