Hear, my child, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered;
and if you run, you will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on....
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what they stumble over.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
This little passage from Proverbs reminded me of an incident when I was a teenager. I was cycling back from choir practice on a winter's night. The last half mile was through a wood. Just then the front lamp on the bike gave up, and I ended up in a ditch at the side of the road. It was pitch dark and I could see nothing. The only way to get home was to walk on the road, because my feet could feel the tarmac and I knew I was safe.
The bible uses light and dark, for good and bad, and in Proverbs we see some advice from a parent to a child. However, it might just as well be God our Father speaking to us today! We are to follow His instructions as found in our Bible - to love Him and to love one another - and in doing so our way will be much easier. When we ignore these then our way becomes more difficult, until we return to the right path.
In fact this proverb ends with the words: 'Keep straight the path of your feet, and all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil'. It was my feet that saved me from falling in the ditch a second time. God's way can stop us from falling into a spiritual ditch as it were! If in doubt, ask yourself ' Am I following God's path, or have I left it?'
often we travel along life's road,
obvlivious as to whether we are going the right way,
and only when things become difficult
do we question what we are doing.
May we turn to You before making decisions,
and may we ask Your help,
to keep us on the right path.