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Learning life lessons vs. learning lessons from life - the difference between the two is really reflective of a proactive vs. reactive way of learning. All of us are probably interested in working on being a proactive learner - learning directly from God how life should be lived vs. learning from our own disobedience how life should not be lived. I hope we are all on the path of becoming proactive learners, but if you are like me, you are still making the mistakes that lead to the 'disobedience lessons'!

Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway! Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot. Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way. (Psalm 119: 35-37)

The idea of learning in a proactive manner is sometimes quite foreign to us. Sometimes we cannot really "grasp" a concept until we have experienced it. The idea of learning how to face circumstances, responding in obedience when we do, is not easy to grasp because there is no "experience" attached to that learning. Our psalmist prays, "Give me a bent for your words...." He is admitting that he did not "naturally" go to the Word for learning how to live life - it was something he had to have developed in his life.

We want to have a determination to seek God's direction even before we take the first step. We want our course "set" before we take the first and subsequent steps. It is like traveling down a freeway (not literally, but in a figurative sense). Freeway vs. a two-lane, no passing zone road. Which is more enjoyable to traverse and will allow you to get to your destination quicker? If you have ever been stuck behind a slow moving rig on a two-lane road in a no passing zone, you know it isn't the two-lane road! But...if you have endured a traffic jam on the freeway, you may not like that route either!

This is the picture of a life that is reactive - we get "stuck" on the two-lane because we did not have the plans in place to avoid this back road path. Why do you think we get stuck on the two-lane? Sometimes it was just a wrong turn - once you were on that road, it could be a long way till there is an exit! At others, it may be because we were "diverted" there by following the person in front of us. We just "went along" where others were going - not realizing where it was going to get us in the end!

What we see in this passage is that we don't "naturally" have a "bent" (the resolve) to choose the right paths on our own. We need God's help to do this consistently. Some "prior planning" makes it far more likely that we are on the road we are traveling ON PURPOSE rather than by accident or misguidance. What do our eyes naturally gravitate toward? Things that glitter! We want the "good life" - complete with all its "glitter". For some, that may be a shiny new car, luxurious house, and fine clothes. For others, that may be a committed relationship with the captain of the football team, powerful executive, or successful entrepreneur. For still others, that may be a house full of children, cupboards full of food, and room enough to spare just in case there is an unplanned visitor.

"Glitter" is anything that takes our eyes off of God and places them on something else as that which gives meaning to our lives. Know HOW to take steps of obedience BEFORE we are asked to take any steps at all!  In our daily walk, diversions are all around. It is God who has the power to "direct" our vision to his purposes and plans. We need to become proficient at being "proactive" in seeking his path BEFORE we take the first step. So, dig deep into his Word - the "pre-planning" is worth the trip! Just diggin!

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