As often happens when I’m away from home, I awaken early.
4:05 a.m. to be exact.
I finally get out of bed around 5:00 and brew a pot of coffee.
Still in my nightclothes, I make my way onto the deck of our neighbors’ house on Lake Hamilton.
As the sky lightens, I notice a swing on the landing halfway down to the water. I go down the stairs but see that the seat is still drenched in dew, so I stand and sip my coffee, taking in the landscape.
To the right, steps fashioned from railroad ties curve downward. Worn and mossy surfaces betray their age, and there’s no handrail.
Not for the faint of heart.
On the left, a newer stairway, constructed from decking and concrete, gives way to flat stone steps. It looks stable. And there’s a sturdy wire handhold.
I opt for the newer, more secure path and head to the dock and over to the seating area at the bottom of the old railroad-tie steps.
Wisps of fog hover over the lake. Somewhere across the way, a bird welcomes the new day with song. I wish one of those little clouds would drift close enough for me to reach out and touch its dream-spun softness.
I lift my head and breathe in the peace I always feel near a body of water. No wonder working people retreat here for weekends.
As I return up the rock stairs, I notice ferns and moss softening their hard faces.
Later, I find myself pondering the two paths. Although the older route would have appealed to a younger me, I’m acutely aware that at this stage of life, I would need a walking stick to maneuver down those ancient steps. Two scriptures come to mind.
Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
I find myself praying for the wisdom and courage to choose the right path even when it appears rugged. I recall past experiences when the way felt rocky and hard, but every time I held onto to God real tight, He delivered me safely to my destination.
What about you?
Are ever tempted to take the easy way out?
Whatever path you find yourself on today, whatever you are facing, I wish you peace and the revelation that when Jesus calls us to follow Him, we can trust Him to keep us.
For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.