And that has made all the difference...
Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. (Robert Frost)
You haven't traveled my road anymore than I have traveled yours. Our roads may have intersected here and there, but the road we each travel is uniquely our own. At each major intersection in life, we make a choice - we choose one path or the other - we don't travel them both. Perhaps we follow in the footsteps of someone who has traveled portions of that path before, finding our view of the path just slightly different. As similar as my BFF and I are, as we take a road trip, or enjoy a stroll along a forest trail, we 'take in' our surroundings in different ways. I will remark about one thing I saw, only to find she didn't see it at all and vice-versa. Why did we not experience the path the same? We are unique - our eyes and hearts are open, but we might just find we are taking in life in just a little different manner as we travel paths that seem very similar!
It is God Who covers me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. And He sets me on my high places. He teaches me how to fight, so that I can use a bow of brass. You have also given me the covering that saves me. Your right hand holds me up. And Your care has made me great. You make the road wide for my steps, and my feet have not tripped. (Psalm 18:32-36)
Our path will be the 'perfect' one for us when God is the one who directs it. When we are directed by God, regardless of the path we travel, there will be this 'covering' over us - something not quite 'tangible', but it there and we know it. His strength will bolster us for the journey, but his watchful eye will also help us to avoid the pitfalls. More importantly, his tender touch will guide us to 'take in' what it is we are not to miss along the journey - so we are 'seeing things' exactly as he sees them. I think this is probably one of the most reassuring things I have learned about walking with God in my life's path - that he is helping me to not miss the stuff he wants me to experience along the way.
The covering of God along our path goes way beyond keeping us safe - it keeps us focused and in tune with our path. Have you ever heard someone say to you, "Look", only to turn your head just in time to catch some majestic thing such as an eagle in flight, the gentle bounce of a fawn tagging along behind their mother through the forest trail, or the gentle movement of the fish just beneath the surface of the crystal clear creek? As quickly as your turned to 'take notice' of what you were called to 'look upon', you were engulfed in the moment of that discovery. God's covering over us is what helps us with our moments of discovery, my friends. He isn't just saying, "Look", because there is something beautiful to behold, but because in 'looking' we are discovering something about him.
It may be that we discover how much care he has taken to create things of beauty around us, but it could also be that we discover just how deep the hurt of someone's heart really is. When he tells us to 'look', he might just be showing us something about that moment that has opened a door for us to speak words of comfort into that hurting place in another's life. When God is with us on the pathway of life, the moments of discovery are innumerable. Some will be moments of discovery that uncover something within us that needs to be discovered afresh or anew. At others, there will be discovery of truth, light, and even wisdom. Regardless of the discovery, it has been uniquely prepared for us by the one who guides our path - God himself. At the intersections of life, don't hurriedly choose one or the other - consult with the one who has prepared the path. You never know what 'discovery' will happen when you do! Just sayin!