Saturday, March 11, 2017

Lent: Led

When I lead my daughter somewhere, often we follow the principle that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. We get out of the car, we walk directly to the theater. She pays for the tickets, we walk directly to the seats. Short, to the point, and effective.

When she leads me, at times we have followed the principle that the best journey between two points is all around the universe: leave the house, visit the Pokemon gym at the Quaker Meeting House, walk past the bar and grab some Pokeballs to catch whatever is hiding three blocks away at the Victory Christian Center, pass the neighborhood church, meander around the library for a bit, pop into 7-Eleven for a Slurpee, play in the park for a while and then ask daddy for a piggyback ride because our feet are too tired.

I like it when my daughter can lead. It's not at all short or to the point, but it's definitely a lot more fun.

Other times instead of following my own feet, I allow others to lead me. That's not always wrong, but it often is a mistake because it gets me confused about the path I'm supposed to be on. By the time I realize how far off-course I am, hours, months and even years may have passed; and I'm mortified at how much time I have wasted. Faith means having the courage to be who we are, and taking the paths we know are there for us, even if no one else goes with us; or, going, they moan that they see nothing ahead of us, not even the shadow of a lion.

There is a fourth way to be led; John Bunyan wrote about it. As you follow the path set before you, it leads you at times into a darkness that grows ever deeper as the whispers amid it grow ever louder. That's a darkness that is terrifying not because of what hides in it, but because you were led there by someone you trusted, and now the light is failing, and now it is gone and one wrong step means ruin. When that happens, as it must, be encouraged! Others have gone before you and have seen the light of life on the other side. Be led, and by faith one day the darkness and the light alike will become a glory-song.

Copyright © 2017 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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