"Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths." (Psalm 25:4)
I sometimes feel as if I were traveling for the very first time upon a country pathway wandering through a forest to a destination I've never visited. Every tree, every feature along that road is unfamiliar, and at times doubts and fears have crept in to leave me wondering if I perhaps might have lost my way.
Strangers appear suddenly and out of nowhere...some are standing, some sitting underneath a tree, others walking past me in the opposite direction back to where I started. They stop me sometimes to tell me the road is a "dead end", or that there are too many ruts and rocks on this unpaved pathway--that there are highways all around me that could make my journey easier. They remind me that those same highways can lead to the excitement of big cities and fun times. There are some mockers too--I can see on their faces that they are angry with me, just because I will not give up on this journey. They taunt me. I am called a fool.
"Enter not into the paths of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men." (Proverbs 4:14)
However, I observe that I am not the only person to walk there; for the trail is well-worn and no weeds have overgrown the ruts. Yet it is not an easy road---this pathway. And though at times I feel so alone and fearful of the unfamiliar--strange things seem to happen. When I stumble over some rock, someone is there to grab my arm to keep me from falling. When it rains or a storm arises, almost at the same time I am about to run for shelter anywhere I can find it, someone comes along to overshadow me with an umbrella.
"Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not." (Psalm 17:5)
As my eyes look up, I see things. And what are those? Someone has carved their initials on a tree and the date they went past this way. And I find letters stuffed in bottles with handwritten words from others who have gone before me. They talk about their journey along this trail, that they too had had my feelings inside, yet they speak and testify to some awesome discoveries and miraculous times spent on this road. Their testimonies give me courage. I carefully re-cork them and lay them where I found them--for someone else behind me to find.
"I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies." (Psalm 119:59)
I am still walking along that pathway. I've not yet reached my destination. But I now see more than the ruts, storms, and the stones in the road. For once I struggled over the rise of a hill, I got a glimpse of something so awesome it took my breath away:
"... I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands..." (Revelation 7:9)
When I saw how choked with people the narrow road was below me--I realized I was never traveling by myself at all. I was just now catching up to the crowd--
MARY E. ADAMS