My husband and I have been jeeping with our oldest son, who is a avid jeep enthusiast. There are some pretty rough yet exhilarating trails found in Moab, Utah, which we have experienced several times. Most recently, we weren’t with a long, long line of jeeps going over trails which is what occurs during the annual Jeep Safari. This time there were just three vehicles; my son’s jeep, my son-in-law's Ram truck, and a little side by side ATV, that my husband and I were in. In the jeep with my son was a friend who is also a guide for the annual jeep safari. I didn’t understand how important the role of the guide was, until the first deep descent down the rocky trail. Did I mention deep descent? Because for me, it was an “are you kidding me-we’re going down that?!” type of descent. And yes, I was very much afraid.
Until Casey-a former student of mine and now a treasured friend- jumped out of my son’s jeep and with all the confidence in the world, started guiding us down the ravine. (OK- it wasn’t a ravine but it felt that way to me!) He guided all the vehicles in our little 3 vehicle safari safely through each obstacle -as the jeep world calls them. His eyes were on the tires, the rocks, the angle and direction of the wheels upon the rock; his eyes were scanning it all, as he guided us. At one point it wasn’t just Casey, but others who got out of their vehicles to offer encouragement, look for dangers and safer paths through the obstacle, indicating when to go slightly left or slightly right or to stop or to come ahead. Casey, the experienced trail guide, knew what lay before us. It was up to us to trust and follow his signals as we inched our way down. Had we tried it on our own, with no one to guide us, I imagine we would have found ourselves in quite a pickle!
I have found myself ‘in a pickle’ at times in my life. Times when I did things my way, stubbornly or pridefully thinking my way was the way. Pshaw…I didn’t need any help or counsel or guidance. I was perfectly able to navigate the particular situation in my life. Or perhaps it was my impatience, wanting to hurry something along. In something as simple as sewing I can’t tell you how many times I have had to rip the seams out and start all over. And it was all because I didn’t completely follow the guidelines per the pattern. Why? Because I trusted myself more than I trusted the guide.
God, the ultimate Guide, has been patient with me. He has allowed me to learn the hard way thereby really owning the lesson learned. I have learned:
to trust HIM always - as I work to enlarge my trust so it is one without borders
to read the instructions - knowing that the Holy Spirit will guide me in all things through the Word of God. In ALL things.
to seek counsel in Godly advisors - those people who aren’t afraid to tell me I have broccoli in my teeth, spiritually speaking
and with absolute surety I have learned to FOLLOW the GUIDE
Yesterday as I was reading in the book of Psalms, this verse stirred me;
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalms 32:8
This verse tells me that If you want to know the way you should go, while walking through challenging situations, or weighty life decisions; then pay attention to God, very close attention. He is the only Guide to follow as we go through life. His eye is upon us. Do you fully get that? His eye is upon us! He sees us, He cares deeply about each individual one of us. He knows what we are going through, and what lies ahead. He knows the path, the rocky crevices we are often called to go over, through or descend into. And only He can instruct and teach us in the way we should go, the path to safely navigating all the decisions and dilemmas we encounter in our journey.
Following your Guide will lead you to victory through whatever obstacle or challenge you face. It won’t be easy, it will often be scary, and you’ll be way outside your comfort zone as you enlarge your own personal borders of following and trusting God. But the reward? It’s exhilarating. Top of the world- actually top of His world!
My oldest son, on Top of the world trail in Moab, Utah. Way to go get the ketchup Codeman!