Skip to main content

Should or Would?

12 Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. (Psalm 90:12 TLB)

"As we should" are pretty powerful words, aren't they? They are also "telling" words, for many of us would probably echo back, "Not as we would", for we have chosen a much different path than the one we "should" have taken! Emerson told us, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Too many times we have followed his advice and found ourselves blazing a new trail that perhaps we'd have been much better off to have never explored! Someone once said that choosing a path means we abandon some other path - I think the rest of the saying implies that the abandoning of one may mean it is abandoned forever. 

We all have many choices of the paths we take each and every day. The paths may be well-worn by us by now, requiring us some effort to abandon because the grooves we have worn act more like a pit than a path! The choice to deviate from any path we have chosen as a "would take" path rather than a "should take" path opens us up to great perils based upon that misjudgment. Most disobedience carries some element of obedience - for we know the right path to choose, we just abandon that wise choice for the unwise! We are obeying an inner voice crying louder than another - listening to one over the other can often be our downfall - for the quietest voice is sometimes the hardest to hear, but the clearest on the matter at hand!

When we become "seasoned" in our choices toward obedience, we find the "should take" paths become more evident to us. What has happened there? We have learned to recognize the wisdom of the few! We have learned that our days are numbered and unwise choices will only eat up those "few days" we are given, sometimes quicker than we might imagine possible. As quickly as those days were given to us, we frittered them away on the "would take" path - losing sometimes days and days of opportunity which could have been ours down the "other path". What occupies our time the most? Would you say those things "fit" in the "should take" if I were smart or the "would take" because I want my own way path? 

The "I want my own way" ordeal is real! We probably struggle with feeling sorry for ourselves when we don't get it, create chaos at times when our way isn't being heard, and get really frustrated with constantly being challenged to take any other way but our own. Yet, the man or woman who learns to "number their days" realizes there may be only one opportunity to travel the obedience path. The chance for a "do-over" isn't guaranteed, even though God is pretty gracious to those of us who have needed more than one or two of those "do-over" moments! Obedience isn't accidental - it is learned in listening and in yielding to the "should take" path more and more. That may not be the one we desire the most, but in time, we will find our desires changing little by little until we crave that "should take" path way more than the "would take" one! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

What goes in...

We can 'swallow' things both in the literal sense and in a figurative manner. Swallow your mashed potatoes and meatloaf at dinner and you have eaten dinner. Swallow a really bad scheme and you have potentially set out on a path you will come to regret. What goes into a man or woman is as important as what comes out! When the right stuff goes in - the right stuff is more likely to come out! So many times we focus more on what "goes into" the body and completely miss the importance of what it is that "comes out" of that same man or woman in the form of action, attitude, and exemplified values. There was this day when the disciples were being criticized for not "washing" prior to partaking of their meal. Trust me, this was not based upon a real concern that the disciples practiced good hand-hygiene to reduce the spread of micro-organisms! It was a "custom", plain and simple, that they were 'bypassing' - and that drew the attention o…