Our family is in what seems to be another transition, so last Saturday night I did what any planner would likely do…I tried to figure out what our next step was! I was researching some possibilities, planning what we might do in each, and so on and so forth. My mind was definitely on overdrive, and although I was exhausted trying to figure out something that really can’t be figured out, sleep was a long time in coming.
Before I knew it, it was Sunday morning and time to get up. I was meeting a friend for the Multnomah Falls Trail Walk/Run. I was tired but excited to see her and excited get out and get moving. The drive there was absolutely beautiful. The peaceful highway, the sun coming up over the mountains, and the truck that was running perfectly after a late Saturday evening fix that cost less than $1 to do (thank you, hubby!) had me feeling incredibly grateful for the Lord’s provision!
Next up, was the “race”. Walkers began the race about an hour before the runners, so when our group was called, we headed up the trail.
As I walked, I decided to take in the beauty all around me. If I was going to make the journey, I wanted to see and enjoy the sites along the way. At one point, I was so focused on what I was looking at (and not focused enough on the path right in front of me) that I found myself walking a little too close to the edge. It wasn’t a severe drop off, but I could have gotten hurt so I figured I should probably pay a bit more attention to where I was going. And I did…at least for a little while.
Somewhere near what must have been the half way to the top mark, I was getting tired and started thinking more and more about the top. Philippians 4:13 came to mind, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”
As I continued to walk, I kept looking through the trees (over and over and over) to see if I could tell when we would get to the top and start going back downhill. The more I looked, the more I took my eyes off of the path in front of me. A stumble here, a little to close the edge there, and then I hear this…
“This is what happens when you take your eyes off of the path I’ve laid before you. When you start focusing on things around you, instead of what I’ve given you for this moment… When you start looking too far ahead trying to figure out where you’re going next… All you have to do is do the next step that I place before you.”
This message means a lot to me. It’s really not about the race. It’s really about my Saturday behavior (and maybe a bunch of other days in the past). You see, I’ve always been one to “need” to know what is coming up, saying, “I just want to be prepared”. (I’m a planner! What can I say?! 😀 )
I basically heard this same message Saturday, but evidently the Lord really wanted to emphasize it on my walk with Him up the mountain, and I must say that it definitely hit me in a very tangible way.
In my trying to figure everything out, what I am really doing is not trusting the Lord. (Boo!) I may be worrying that He possibly doesn’t have everything under control. That maybe He hasn’t thought of certain possibilities. That what He has for me maybe isn’t what my idea of what is best.
The Bible has a few things to say about all of that…
“Do not be anxious (worry) about tomorrow…” Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
“Do not be anxious about anything…” Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
“Casting all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare (peace), to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
So, for now, my job is to just do what He has for me moment by moment. He’s been telling me this for awhile, but I find that I often need reminders. That doesn’t mean that I never think about the future, but it does mean that I shouldn’t dwell on it or try to figure it out to the point that it overwhelms me and causes me great stress.
Moment by moment. Step by step. Even if He hasn’t shown me the whole path and I have no idea exactly where it will lead me or how long it will take. The good thing about all of this, is that no matter the path He leads me on, I can rest assured that at the very end of it all is Him.
And as a side note, I still took time to get some pictures and I even took a short video during my journey. I just made sure to actually STOP and take the pictures, rather than creating any more dangerous situations while taking them on the go. 😀