God is the one who gives me strength. He clears the path I need to take. (Psalm 18:32 ERV)
There are times when friends will ask my advice on which path to take in life. While I appreciate being asked, it sure can put me in a little bit of a predicament when I may not have the same vantage point on that path as the other individual has been given. I am not walking in that other person's shoes, although I may have taken similar paths. The best I can do is offer some advice on how I chose the path I did and what I looked for in confirmation that it was the right one to choose. If you are considering a particular path today, here are some tips:
- We don't want others to choose it for us. It is rarely the right path for us when another chooses it on our behalf, insisting we take one over another. About the only exception to this one is when we are clearly headed down a very wrong path and the other person is pulling us back from that direction. If we are headed in a direction in which we will experience harm or loss, we might just do well to heed their advice to consider the direction we are headed. When choosing our path, we should consider what God has to say about it (in his Word), and perhaps even listen to the advice of those who might have already explored similar paths (remembering that no two paths are equally the same).
- We may want to take the one that is "marked" the clearest, but it may be the one with the absence of those "markings" that brings us to the place we will find the greatest blessings in life. We want the path easiest to travel, well-marked, and often well-traveled. As much as this is a good thing, a well-traveled path could just be a rut dug by frequent passage! Sometimes we need to forge new paths, which may be a little scary at first, but in so doing, we come into new explorations others haven't experienced. In these times, we become the leaders and not the followers. We help others to see new vantage points that were previously undiscovered by them.
No two paths are the same. No two vantage points will take in the same view. In each person's exploration of similar paths, the lessons may be similar, but they remain absolutely unique to the individual exploring those paths. Choosing one over another is often a matter of conscience, allowing the Spirit's presence within us to confirm the right one for us to travel. Remember, it may not be evident because the mountain looms ahead of us, but it is there! Just sayin!