At the age of six, my family moved to the country. We lived on a dirt road about twenty miles from town. Which, by the way, had more than a gas station and a grocery store but not much.
I know there are those who say the stories about walking five miles to school in the snow and rain is just something your parents or grandparents told you to invoke pity, to stop you complaining about some suffered wrong. But it really did happen to some of us of yesteryear. I remember walking not five miles but three to school one day, in a dress no less. It was freezing rain and bitter cold. We finally arrived to find that school was canceled because the water pipes were frozen. We weren’t even allowed to come in and warm up before we had to walk back home! That was not a fun day.
I also remember my siblings and I walking around the block on a Saturday because we were bored. Walking around the block was about thirteen miles! We’d leave early in the morning and get home just before lunchtime. When we wanted to visit our neighbor to the north, we’d take the tractor trail about two miles through their woods. And for the neighbor to the south, we’d go about a mile through the woods on our land and end up on the backside of their farm.
None of us had phones, so you just hoped they’d be home. But that wasn’t always the case. Or their mom would say, “We’re eating lunch, come back tomorrow.” Such a different time it was. Nowadays, all we see are freeways, highways, expressways, and super-highways. Congestion and traffic are stifling, and city driving is absolutely crazy. But in days gone by, there was a quieter time when we used to go for a Sunday drive down the dirt road and wave to a neighbor with your head hanging out the window.
You might even stop and pick cat-tails lined up in the ditch. Often we found wild asparagus as well. What a different life the country is. I feel sorry for my children and grandchildren that they will never know those times, and whenever I hear the word road or path, those are the places I remember. With memories both good and bad. Why the nostalgic talk of roads, you ask? Well, this week, I was reading a few chapters in Proverbs. Everywhere I looked, there was a reference to a path or road and what was needed to successfully navigate it.
21 My son, let them not escape from your sight, but keep sound and Godly doctrine and discretion. 22 They will be life to your inner self, and an ornament to your neck. 23 Then, you will walk in your way securely and confident trust, and you shall not dash your foot or stumble.
26 For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep your foot from being caught in a trap or hidden danger.
Satan loves to lay traps for us in life to try to stop us at every turn. We’ve got to be alert in prayer and be spending our time in God’s Word, receiving God’s wisdom. It’s the only way to walk a right path, clear of clutter, and stay on track.
Too many other sources in life want to feed us the wrong information and give us the wrong ideas. God’s Word is the only thing that will give you the right instruction and good advice.
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s own workmanship recreated in Christ Jesus, that we may do those good works which God predestinated for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time) that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.”)
Whether we actually take those paths or not is up to us.
Proverbs 10:17 says, “He who heeds instruction and correction is not only himself in the way of life but also is a way of life for others. And he who neglects reproof not only himself goes astray but also causes to err and is a path of ruin for others.”
We have choices in life, what we do, who we spend our time with, what we listen to, and who we follow after. Make that someone Jesus. He knows the best paths and trails that exist. He is the only way to Heaven. You don’t want to miss that trail, and you don’t want to be the cause of someone else missing the path to Heaven.
Get on the right road and just keep walking!
As an artist, I consider myself to be a barefoot, backwoods, country-folk artist. As a writer, I often wax nostalgic with a Huckleberry Finn style of text. As a minister, my friends call me “preacher woman.” But most important of all, God calls me – His!