One Path to Follow

In these days of confusion, I often wonder if there is any point to my daily activities in life. I struggle with it. A lot.

Today, I just share with you my ramblings from my prayer and journaling time this morning. It’s random, and it may not make any sense, but it’s all I have to share right now.  So, I now present my guest blogger for today – my journal. <3

Guest Speaker

I, too, go up to Jerusalem.

Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem and nothing deterred Him. He was determined to follow the will of His Father, God.

And it is my aim in life, also, to follow the will of God…and I have struggled with this. Struggled with understanding what that means to me. Personally.

My current Bible study is on the Book of Luke – and we are on our way to Jerusalem with Christ. He is resolute. He is heading for Jerusalem, and He is not to be detained or waylaid or discouraged from His goal.

And so I set my aim, too. I will go to Jerusalem. It is to become my goal – it is the representation of the Father’s will for my own life.

And yet, I am distracted. Often.

I know God has set me on a path. And I know it is His path. The same path. To Jerusalem. And yet, I find myself trying to forge my own path, a wider path, and carrying everything bundled together in my baggage, lugging it all, all at once.

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Homeschooling. This is on the path that the Lord has willed for me. I know it. I am sure of it. For now.

And yet, it does not come easy. This path requires continual sacrifice – of my time, my desires, myself – daily.

Some days, I stumble on this path – sometimes I take a great fall and fall away from the path completely. Whether it is my selfish desires tugging me away, or frustration and lack of patience, or even self-doubt, wondering why…questioning our decisions and abilities to make it through this…I allow myself to be distracted and choose an easier path. I often choose that path of least resistance – wider, less demanding, a path seemingly full of easier-to-reach rewards.

Only to wind up lost. Disappointed. Disillusioned. Guilt-ridden. Resentful. Jealous.

My flesh wants to do what it wants to do – so why isn’t that path fulfilling?

I find myself wondering – didn’t you create me this way, God? You created me with these desires, gifts, abilities – this need to achieve and be admired, didn’t you? Don’t you want me to use all this, all you have given me? I’ll use it to Your Glory…. I promise. At least, I’ll try to. If you want it…

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And then I wonder – why can’t I just do it ALL? Why can’t I homeschool, and have happy kids, and be a writer, and run a business, and have friendships, and travel, and make my husband happy – all at the same time?

And why aren’t all of these things more meaningful? How can I focus on any of this when on another path there are children dying, women and children being enslaved, people starving, nations being devoured by hate and murder… how does anything I do make a real difference? Is anything I actually do important, does it matter, in the scheme of all things?

Why does anything, anybody have to suffer? Can’t all of these things come true, be healed, flourish… on my path? I want it all. Surely you will equip me to do it all, Father? Right? Surely I’m supposed to be on this path of trying to get it all done…get it all in….

And so I choose the wide path. The wider path with room for everything. It’s easier, right? Pack it all up and take it with me – “Traveling Mom,” right?

And I try…to do it all.

And I fail…miserably.

More guilt. More confusion. More soul-searching.

More asking – what exactly is it I’m supposed to do, Lord?

What is most important? To You?

And, can I trust that whatever it is will be “fulfilling” to me?

Isn’t’ that the mantra of the world today….the mantra of every self-help guru?  Find what makes you happy. That’s what really matters.

They ask, “Are you fulfilled?” And then provide you with their seven steps to achieving it.

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And I read it. Watch their videos. Swallow the hype – no, inhale it. Covet that success. Expect it to happen for me.  After all, it’s happening for others, others who aren’t any more deserving, right? Others are getting fulfilled, aren’t they?

So, I set the bar a little higher, work a little smarter, push myself and others a little further, and then…

Fall…

A little harder.

Wondering, why?

And then – I open The Book. The Wonderful Words of Life.

I read the Word of God. His letter to me. I read the Word in the morning, while still in the fog of awakening, before all mental confusion and daily tasks and worries have time to percolate to the surface. God speaks to me, through the fog, and His Words are clear.

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Through my prayers, He hears my cries, my confusion, my lamenting… What am I doing wrong, Lord?

And in the stillness, when I have paused from trying, striving, doing – He answers me, in a still, small voice, so quietly that I have to be still to hear…

His whisper…

“Follow Me.”

“Follow Me…up to Jerusalem.”

Jerusalem?

Where you fulfilled the prophecy? Where you fulfilled the will of the Father? Where you fulfilled your promise?

And yes, where you fulfilled me. Ultimate fulfillment.

And then I know… Striving won’t fulfill me.  Achieving won’t fulfill me. Success won’t fulfill me. Because they will NEVER. BE. ENOUGH.  They will always leave me wanting more.

But God did not create me to be disappointed. He did not create me to be unfulfilled.

No, He created me to experience the joy and satisfaction of complete and perfect fulfillment. In Him.

And, He created a path that leads me there. To Him.

The path to Jerusalem.

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Jerusalem…

Where Christ entered triumphantly, and was a driven out as a criminal.

Where He was praised for His miracles, and plotted against for being a threat.

Where He drove sinners from His Fathers temple, and wept bitterly for the destruction He knew would befall her.

Where He loved, taught, was denied and deceived…

Carried His own cross…

Was crucified…dead…and buried.

And then conquered Death.

For me. For my life. My eternal life. Eternal peace. Eternal freedom….from pain, suffering, and wondering.

He forged that path.

There is now a path for me, a path that leads to all-knowing, all-understanding – trust, faith, and purpose.

The path to Jerusalem. Following Christ.

It is a sacrificial path. One of leaving worldly desires behind, and, traveling like He did before me, letting nothing deter me from following The Way. No guilt, no shame, no holding back. No chasing rabbits down a trail. No stopping for meaningless trivialities. No time to waste on useless matters, frivolities.

No waiting and striving to prove myself to others, others who refuse to see, refuse to know, refuse to follow.  Shaking the dust from my sandals, I keep moving, keep following, and keep moving forward…

Toward Jerusalem.

This path forged for me is straight. It is narrow. And I must follow.

I must pick up my own cross, daily, and carry it on. And that is all I must carry. No other burden – only this, the one He gives me. I am forced to lay aside all other burdens and focus on this one thing. This is what is important. For it is light, and He gives me strength to carry it, all the way. Blessed assurance.

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Not that it’s easy. Not that it’s always natural. Not that it’s always clear. Not that it’s always desirable – my desire. But it’s possible.

Straight is the path.

Narrow is the gate.

I must set my face…and I must follow…only Him…to Jerusalem.

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