Lost in the woods
So often we find ourselves lost in the trees, having no idea where the path is leading us. Scratching and clawing our way through the treacherous undergrowth, a well-trodden path eludes us. With no map or visible signs to show us where to go, we stumble along, more lost than found.
Isn’t that the way life feels sometimes? No matter what we try to accomplish, what path we seem to follow, it feels like we are blindly pressing through the trees, limb after limb scraping along our face. We’ve twisted our ankles and skinned up our legs on the rocks that seem to pop up at the worst times. Yet we press on. Undaunted by our failures we continue looking for the path, hoping and praying that the next slightly worn piece of earth we see is the path that we should set our journey on.
Tired of the tree/forest metaphor yet? You probably think I’m barking mad. (Sorry, needed a woodland pun to lighten the mood a bit.) The point is that we often don’t see the big picture of our lives, and I would argue that some never do. We are so focused on putting one foot in front of the other that we keep our eyes down on what we think is the path, ignoring what is occurring around us.
Many times, we simply cannot or consciously will not see the bigger picture in our lives. We are all interconnected in one way or another, our lives creating a tangled web of relationships, acquaintances, enemies, and family. What we do affects each of these relationships. We have to step back and see how we fit into the body of Christ. Each of us is valuable but if we focus so much on what our individual needs and desires are, we can easily neglect the needs of those around us that we can help.
Look, we are never going to know the entire path of our life. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” We may want to know how our life is going to play out, but we really don’t. The emphasis here is not that God’s Word is a map to our journey, but a light to our path. With His guidance we can see the truth of what is in front of us. We can see at least a small part of the big picture, maybe understand our little piece of it.
The path that we walk is not going to be well defined. Christ knew this, saying “(b)ecause narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14) It will be the road less traveled. If we stay faithful to Christ and lean into Him for guidance, then to borrow from Robert Frost, it will make all the difference.