Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.
I have been doing a little studying about the word "path". Mainly to be sure I'm on the right one. Paths are funny critters. Get on the right one, and you can end up at the top of a mountain, blissfully gazing upward into the clouds . Get on the wrong one, and it's 'hello, Antarctica.' I need my paths clearly marked, with signs like "No Left Turn" or even "Road Construction." Because it's not always obvious to me which way to go. I go left, when right is clearly the most excellent way. I go right, when left is unmistakably correct. I need guidance, as we all do.
This verse this morning showed me a couple of things: 1) the Psalmist wants the Lord to MAKE him know the Lords way. Almost like it was against the psalmist's will. Like he's saying, "Look, I know I'm gonna be contrary and wander off, so MAKE me look at YOUR map. Don't let me follow a map of my own choosing." In other words, "Lord, get my attention." And 2) the psalmist is teachable. After the Lord turns our attention to His ways, THEN we can be taught correctly. THEN we can sit at the feet of Jesus, learn His ways, and get to our destination.
You see, if I don't turn my attention to the Lord on my own, I need something to make me look. Something compelling. Because sometimes it's very difficult to turn our attention to the things God wants us to consider. It's much easier to look at things pleasing to Elaine, like social media for example. Not knocking FB because I actually enjoy it, but it is a huge path distraction for me. And if we aren't paying attention to where we are going, well, Antarctica is a mighty cold place and don't even get me started about how hot the desert is....
Suppose I went on a camping trip (and the likelihood of that happening is slim to none without an air conditioned camper), and I got lost in the woods. That is a very real possibility because my wood lore is nonexistent. So because I know this about myself, I'd take a compass. Not that I know how to actually read a compass, but I'd feel more secure with it in my pocket. But for the sake of argument, let's say I wandered off without consulting the compass because I'd forgotten it was in my pocket ( that forgetting part...yeah...a very real possibility). And I get off the path. Rest assured, I'd pull that sucker out of my pocket and NOT TAKE MY EYES off it until I found my way home. Even if I haven't a clue how to use it, I would figure it out pretty doggone quickly out of sheer desperation. Why don't we treat Gods guidance like that? His guidance is more valuable than any compass and more accurate to boot. I have a feeling that the answer is fairly simple...we aren't desperate enough. When was the last time we went to the Lord with a heart filled with a truly despairing cry. And not just a cry for our circumstances, but a cry to see Him. To know Him. To love Him. That kind of desperation moves Gods heart.
Look, I don't know the answers here. All I know is that I am on Gods path. I have asked. I have sought. I have found. There's really not much more to it than that. It's definitely not rocket science or I couldn't do it, because, folks, I am just not that smart. I am, however, that desperate. Please...you be desperate, too...God bless!