Countless adventure movies contain a scene where the hero must navigate a path fraught with booby traps. Each step must be carefully chosen or doom awaits. Our faith walk is like that as well. Okay, we don’t risk poison darts or being cast into a bottomless pit if we misstep, but the world is full of distractions and temptations that lead us off of God’s path for our lives. Like Indiana Jones, our best option is keep our eyes on the path, or more specifically the maker of the path, to complete our journey.
“Show me the right path, O Lord; Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God that saves me…” Psalm 25:4,5
I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know. But what about now? A global pandemic has brought our world to a screeching halt. We’re all in limbo, waiting for normal life to return. Do we need to worry about God’s path if no one is moving?
All believers have a basic call on their lives–glorify God, make disciples, love others. God also leads us in the specific way he wants each of us to accomplish that call. It’s difficult to show love hunkered down in your house. It’s harder to glorify God if no one can see or hear you. Right now, our lives are very limited, and many think that call is on hold along with everything else.
We might also be lulled into thinking that distractions and temptations are fewer since we’re stuck inside. But they lurk behind every door in the house! For me, it’s super easy to get lost in binge-watching. There’s twenty seasons of Midsomer Murders. That one show can keep me busy for ages. Unlike me, diligent people are filling their time with improvement projects and crafts. Not all distractions are time-wasting, but that doesn’t stop them stealing focus from God’s call.
My hometown reported a 20% increase in drug overdoses in March. What a distressing reminder that there are plenty of temptations at home as well. The high stress and uncertainty of this pandemic triggers many to indulge in unhealthy and sinful behavior.
So we’re not moving, does that mean we’re not on the path? It’s still here, very real and waiting for us to move down it. Just as our muscles get flabby when we don’t exercise; our spiritual muscles atrophy when we don’t walk our path. Just because we’re not moving, doesn’t mean that we can’t sprint forward with the Lord.
Turn away from the distractions and temptations. Use the excess time to seek God and worship him. Ask him how he wants you to fulfill your call in a socially distant world. Then do it, whether it’s praying for the sick in your community, sending cards to shut ins, or making masks for those who need them. You’ll surprised at the direction the Lord shows you and at how much you can spiritually move in this stationary world.
“Your own ears will hear him.
Right behind you a voice will say,
‘This is the way you should go,’
whether to the right or to the left.”