Saturday, November 19, 2016

Wander Wisely

"Wander Wisely"

As I waited for the online transaction to go through, these words came up on the screen.  And my mind quickly did wander, to how the words apply to my own personal life.

Ever walk away from what you’ve known to be true?  And at what price?  How much did it cost you to wander off?  There’s always a price, you know.
I once strayed so far, I wondered if and how God would ever reach me.  I was wearied by my own fleshly desires and ambitions, and found myself lost.  And it cost me my peace of mind and even relationships. But how lost can a child of God ever really be?  For ultimately, God always calls us back to Him. And whatever the cost, He covers it with grace. That is the beauty of knowing God as our savior. Remember when God called on Adam to show his face?  Did not God know exactly where Adam and Eve stood, in their shameful wandering?  And still He covered them with grace.

It's ironic that we tend to wander, when so much of the Bible relays a message about staying the course and persevering. There's so much reference to following and trusting God's lead. It says He knows my comings and goings. He knows when I sit and when I stand. As the shepherd leads and I shall not want, and how He lays my paths straight. How He'll make my feet as swift as deer, and how He goes before me laying out the path I should go.

And still I'm prone to wander, unsure of what lies ahead. Looking and turning to other possible ways to achieve what I know is to be fulfilled. My strength fails me, and I cave in. And in the overwhelming demands of this life, I succumb to a whirlwind of wonder, which leads to worry. Because the way I see it, nothing truly makes sense or ends well.

That's the way I see it, in my wandering.

Do you ever deviate? You're meant to go one way, but find yourself enticed and admiring the scenic route? There's beauty to behold. That's why I love road trips. My husband knows, and we both enjoy the back roads. The main roads don't offer as much to see as what you can see on those long, winding, and unpredictable back roads. Perhaps the main roads aren't meant to offer much distractions, so that you can arrive at your destination more promptly, more directly, or more easily. And for someone like me, that works just fine sometimes. But other times, I'm more interested in what I might be missing out on. What cool sights am I missing on those other routes? What is even more cool though, is how those winding side roads often lead us back to the main road. And although we wandered off a bit, we come back to the road that gets us to where we are going.

Isn't that how our earthly Christian walk looks like most of the time? We know where we are supposed to be heading. We know what route leads us there. And still we choose the alternatives. Still we deviate. But God calls us to fix our eyes on Him, on the ultimate prize of meeting Him face to face. Stay the course. Persevere. Trust. Fix eyes on Him. And do not wander.

Yet, should you wander,... I can't help but think of Peter and his relationship with Jesus. I love reading about how after Jesus' resurrection, when Peter was most likely mourning and feeling shameful for having betrayed his friend and teacher, the Bible cites that Jesus tells Mary to "go and tell the others... and Peter" (Matthew 16:7). You see although Peter had wandered, Jesus sought him out. Jesus called Peter back to Himself. That's precisely what God does with us. In our wandering, He calls us to Himself. So when you wander, which more likely than not, you will, wander wisely.

Let your wander always lead you back to knowing God is still the one leading the way. When you're done looking elsewhere, find yourself in Him. When you find yourself craving for those side roads and back roads with the pretty sights, finalize your desires to be fully fulfilled only when you're walking in Him. When your hand is extended before you to a shepherd that leads you, may that be your posture, even in your wander.

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