Monday, November 27, 2017

Just below the surface

Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take. (Psalm 119:105 ERV)
But...will it be the path we DO take? That is the question most of us have to answer, for we oftentimes know full well what we "should" do, but choose something slightly different. Why? We have free-will and we want our own way! People tell me God's will is so hard to decipher. Actually, it isn't because we have guidance we don't usually use! We have the Word of God, yes, but we have conscience, knowledge, common sense, the Spirit's niggling, and even the example of others, just to name a few! The issue isn't us moving forward - it is us taking steps in the direction that will bring us to the right destination!
If you have ever made a decision you now regret, you likely know what it was like to ignore some set of evidence that "warned" you the decision was about to get you into trouble. Looking back, you realize clearly where your conscience kind of steered you in another direction, but you ignored it. Something you knew to be true was coming time and time again into your thoughts, but you just blew it off. Now, you stand where you are and realize you should have listened or paid closer attention. Perhaps this is why they tell us hindsight is 20/20! Hindsight has the perspective of knowing the end result of that choice!
William Blake reminds us that the fool sees exactly the same tree the wise man sees. It isn't that we don't see what is coming - but that we choose to see it differently! We choose to see it as it "fits" what we want to see and that is where the path begins to get a little harried! There isn't much difference in the path to obedience for either one of us, but the choices we will be faced with in life can be as different as a grape and a banana. Grapes grow in bunches, but so do bananas. If we just compared one to the other based on this one fact, we'd think there was no difference in the fruit. We'd be wrong, though. The vine produces something quite different from the large leaved tree in the midst of the humid climate where the banana tree flourishes. One choice, though similar to another, can produce quite different "fruit" in our lives when we only compare part of the "equation".
Choosing wisely requires us to consider the outcome - the fruit of our choices. This consideration must be done quickly at times, but the more familiar we are with the "right" set of actions we should consistently take, the easier it is to recognize when the choice we are about to make isn't the correct one. While the fruit doesn't seem to be different at times, when we examine just beneath the surface even just a little bit, we see the fruit is quite different. It isn't too late to make the right choice - even if we have gone beyond the surface of a wrong one! In time, we will recognize the fruit is quite different between the two choices, but right now, we just need to let go of the wrong one and embrace the right one. Just sayin!