Not a path I'd like to travel again

Moments of hardship and trouble don't always seem like the things we will learn from, do they? As a matter of fact, we'd like to dis-enroll from the "school of hard knocks" and "difficult lessons", wouldn't we? We struggle, muddling through the bad stuff, until we can ultimately say that we "made it through". We don't get a diploma or certificate of completion to show we made it through, but we have learned a lesson or two that we probably were desperate to learn in our lives! The ride was tough, but the journey was well worth it.

My troubles turned out all for the best—they forced me to learn from your textbook. Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in a gold mine. (Psalm 119:71-72)

David reminds us frequently that the hard times forced him to learn from God's textbook - the Word - and they can do the same for us, as well. It almost goes without saying, but we find ourselves in the midst of a moment of indecision and THEN we look for the answers to the issues at hand! I think many of us head down a path without any clear indication as to where it will lead us probably more frequently than we'd like to actually admit!

On various outings, I have "explored" parts unknown to me - things awaiting my discovery one by one. Ever take the first path you came across? I have and it wasn't always the greatest of paths to take. Let me tell you about some the lessons I have learned along some of those paths. Perhaps you'd like to know about the lesson I learned about what goes in the mouth. Did you ever realize if it enters the mouth, it usually ends up finding a hiding spot somewhere in your body? Those extra calories may not seem like much when consumed in small amounts here and there, but too many of the 'here and there' kind of moments and those calories will end up as 'reserved fat' in your body. 

Another lesson I've learned - not every path is meant for me to follow! Some of those paths are just not going to benefit my life, nor were they ever intended for my travels. When I force myself down a path I really wasn't meant to travel in the first place, the journey isn't going to be very worthwhile for me. As a matter of fact, I may suffer loss or frustration that just makes the journey all that more unpleasant for me. The more we push ourselves down paths we aren't designed to travel, the more we develop what we can refer to as 'resistance' to the path, but have you ever noticed just how easily we stay on that path instead of getting of it?

Why do we stay on the path? Maybe it is stubbornness, believing we will somehow 'win' our way through to the end. It could be fear, because this is a path we already have become a little bit familiar with and any other path would be a little bit 'unknown' to us. So, we stay where we are despite our frustration and hurt and building resentment over the path. We chose this path and we are going to stick it out till the end. How's that working for you? Develop an appreciation for the Word as your guidebook for living and you will likely be challenged at every turn to evaluate the path you have chosen.

We know things may hurt us, but we just don't know how to get away from them. David certainly had learned this lesson the hard way when he was involved in admiring what God clearly said he should not admire. His "romp" with Bathsheba left him with a sticky situation to deal with - he'd taken another man's wife, found out she was with child, and then he chose to cover up what he clearly should not have embraced! The wrong path, with wrong results, leaves us with further wrong actions each and every time! Sin is like that - it presents itself, affording the opportunity to admire what we should clearly leave alone. Either we walk away, or we stand around long enough to get taken in! The more we turn to the "textbook" BEFORE we encounter the bad stuff along the path, the more we will be ready to avoid the path entirely! Just sayin!

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