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But I want this....

I know Louis L'Amour was not really trying to wax philosophical when he said a good beginning make a good end, but he hit the nail on the head! The roughest beginnings can make for a very bumpy ride alone the way. The easiest beginnings can help us to get along the trail a little quicker, but the trail always has its own twists and turns, making the journey sometimes a little tougher than we first suspected it would be!

God’s way is perfect. The Lord’s promise always proves to be true. He protects those who trust in him. There is no God except the Lord. There is no Rock except our God. God is the one who gives me strength. He clears the path I need to take. He makes my feet as steady as those of a deer. Even on steep mountains he keeps me from falling. (Psalm 18:30-33 TLB)

Despite the beginnings, God's presence can make the journey bearable until it ends! There is no greater beginning than to begin with God - even if the start is a little rough around the edges. Most of us just need to get to the place we actually "start" - we just talk about beginnings and don't ever step up to the gate! Here's something I learned a long, long time ago - we get nowhere if we don't take the first step! We can spend a lot of time "admiring", "imagining", or "dreaming" of what we want to do, but until we actually step out to do it, we are just daydreaming!

God's ways are perfect - even when ours are a little messed up around the edges. His promises will prove true - even when the journey makes it a little unlikely that we will get out 'unchanged' or 'unscathed'. The moment we move from imagining the end and begin to take the steps to trust in what we come to call the beginning, the more we learn how very faithful God is when we place our trust in him.

I don't want you to miss one very important part of our passage today - "He clears the path I need to take." It isn't always the path I want to take. It isn't always the path you want me to take. It is the path which NEEDS to be taken. God knows what we NEED just as much as he knows what we WANT. Those two aren't always the same, are they? I want to be fishing. I need to be at work. I want to eat chocolate. I need to eat an apple. I want to be independently wealthy. I need to work for a living. Yup, those two aren't always the same!

Trust is the basis for any "good beginning" - making the "ending" more likely to be "spot on" for what we need in our life. What or who we trust in is one of the most important things we can establish prior to stepping out. We begin well when we have our trust rightly placed - even though we may not know the ending. We place our trust in a whole lot of dreams and fail to recognize those dreams aren't actually going to keep us for the "long haul" of the journey. The path we need to take may actually be contrary to our dreams - learning to trust God to refine the dreams so the dream matches the need is key to taking the "right" first steps! Just sayin!

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