MM 8-1-2021 Watch & Listen
Are you speeding through life or taking it slow? Life in the fast lane rarely leaves time or energy to hear the still small voice of our Lord. Perhaps the slow lane might be a better place to ride today.
Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.
Psalm 85:13 – NIV
My best time to get in a workout is in the early morning before the day’s distractions can lure me away. That’s why my husband and I are out on the road walking before 6:30 am. Oh, and the other reason is that August in the South is beastly hot, and you had better get started early if you don’t want to end up as a puddle of sweat on the pavement!
Since it is still quite early when we step out for our walk, there is seldom any sign of life from the houses we pass. Rarely does a car meet us on the road. Our loop down by the river is pleasant and peaceful.
But that all changes when we reach the main road. In order to finish our walking route and return home, we must travel up a busy road for a block or so before crossing over to a much calmer side street. The road ought not to be so busy. It runs through a neighborhood after all. Still, somehow it has become a well traveled cut-through for people on their way to work. The speed limit is 45 mph, but given the number of houses along the road, it should be much lower. It doesn’t really matter because drivers consistently ignore the speed limit anyway, choosing to race through at 55 or 60 mph that time of day. Needless to say, it is a treacherous road to walk, especially since there is no shoulder of pavement along the roadside.
When we reach this part of our journey, Eric steps out in front to watch for oncoming traffic. The cars barrel through so fast that my vision issues prevent me from noticing them before they are upon us. Even my well honed hearing does not always alert me early enough given the speed of traffic.
So on this section of our daily journey, Eric becomes my valiant sentry and leads the way. My job is to set my sights on his broad shoulders and trudge dutifully along the white line. When Eric spots a car in the distance, he calls out to me and we both hastily step off the road into the grass. I pause and wait until I note his movement back onto the street, and then I follow. Sometimes the traffic is so heavy that we must perform this maneuver several times before reaching the crossing point.
To keep us both safe, Eric leads, and I must follow. Eric watches for hazards and calls out warnings. I must listen and follow his commands. For my protection, I must track his movements, follow his footsteps and listen for the sound of his voice. If I keep my focus on him, he will guide me safely along our daily walking path.
As I followed the set of Eric’s shoulders down that bustling road the other morning, I thought about the journey of following Jesus. Sometimes the path is joyful, full of sunshine and splendor. Other times, the path is treacherous, full of roadblocks and hazards. Along both the easy and hard roads, our Lord walks with us, ever concerned for our safety and protection.
Still, our safety depends in part on our choices. Will we follow His commands? Will we watch for His movements in our midst? Will we listen to the call of His voice?
Far too often, the world entices us with itsdistractions. Our busyness clouds our view. We step off the path or stumble into oncoming traffic. Sin lures us away. Evil lurks in the ditches along the roadside.
Following Jesus requires us to watch and listen. Where is He leading you today? Is there something He is guiding you toward, some work He is calling you to do?
Are there hazards in the trail before you? Is Jesus calling out directions to alter your current course of action and keep you safe? Is it time to turn to prayer or scripture to hear His loving guidance?
Watching and waiting, looking and listening, these are the keys to safe passage. May we follow where Jesus is leading us today. For no matter what dangers lie on the path ahead, we can trust Jesus to show us the way.
Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.
Psalm 119:33 – NIV
O Lord Jesus, show us the way. Guide our steps. Lead us on to the plan You have for our lives. Help us squelch the distractions of busyness and the enticements of the world that throw us off track. Lord, teach us to follow Your ways today and always.
In the Guiding Name of Jesus, we pray,