You may remember when I told you the story about the walk I took with my friend in Costa Rica around the perimeter of a volcano there. It was cool and breezy as we walked along the cloud covered edge of blackened volcanic ash. Listening to his voice, I tried to walk in the direction of a tree that I thought was right in front of me. Eyes closed, moving step by step, it seemed I was right on the path. Sure enough, as I counted my steps moving forward, I realized that I no longer heard his voice, so I stopped, not wanting to walk into a bush or a hole in the sandy terrain. As he directed me to go further, I felt comforted that all was well as I moved forward again, but when it came time to open my eyes, I saw with alarm that I was actually a good ways from the goal. The tree now stood at some 45 degree angle to the other side of me.
That experience in trust was a good one for me. I realized anew what it means for any of us to try to follow God’s voice so that our steps feel more certain and the path more clear. Now as I stand on a new surface, another unexplored bit of terrain in the middle of Florida, I realize that nothing has changed. I’m still on a trust walk. I’m still hoping to discover the direction for my life, the path God would most like me to travel. Sometimes, it seems like maybe we can walk a ways on our own, maybe closing our eyes to the things that might distract us and giving ourselves a chance just to feel the breeze on our shoulders, the wind in our hair. Sometimes it even seems like it might not matter so much what direction we go. Sometimes.
The trust lesson continues though. Listening to the voice of the One who brought you here in the first place, who knows you more intimately than anyone else ever can, who sees you and loves you just as you are, well…that’s the goal. Listening and trusting and walking a little further.
It seems scary when you don’t know where the path may lead. It seems like there should be a more foolproof method for determining the best steps. Most of us are surrounded by advisers, those who feel pretty sure they know what is best for us, but our truth may not match with theirs. Listen to the ones around you because they love you and want what is best for you, but listen with a heart inclined toward the One who guides your spirit as well. In His terms, the truth will free you from even worrying about the steps because they are already planned and in motion. Trust then is not about knowing which way to go, it’s about going, knowing that you’re safe and in the place you’re meant to be. Pray for the ears to hear and the heart to follow. You may not have a flashlight, but if you listen, you’ll always hear that sweet voice of truth and love. Trust Him who walks beside you every step of the way!