December 4

I remember going on a week-end hiking trip with my two best friends in our senior year of high school.  We were planning on hiking a small section of the Appalachian Trail.  As we started up into the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, my one friend warned … “When we get to the top of the mountain, watch where you are stepping … there are rattlesnakes up here.”  Let me tell you … my eyes were not on the beautiful mountain we were climbing, or on the waterfalls we saw, or on the splendor of the trees that surrounded us.  My eyes were on every rock I was about to step on.  My eyes were searching for rattlesnakes!

God provided a similar warning for us today to the one my friend gave me all those years ago.  God placed these verses in His Word for your path today.  “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:26-27).  We never did see a rattlesnake during that week-end hiking trip, but I was sure looking for them.  I think I would do better to go through each day with the same intensity for the dangers that are around me, and in me.  Yes, you read that right … “in” me too.  I wish that I would think more about the words that are going to come out of my mouth before I simply blurt out what I am thinking.  I wish I would consider my heart’s desire more deeply before I acted many times.

God issued this warning to all of us.  We need to think about what we are going to do with our day before arbitrarily, or habitually wandering through our schedule.  There are God-ordained opportunities all along the paths of our lives, if we are paying attention.  How do I know that?  God did not put us on the earth to aimlessly wander.  He placed us on this earth to make an eternal difference for someone around us.  Think about how you can make a difference in the life of someone in your family.  Think about what you might do to influence your neighbor.  Think about a ministry in your church that could use a person with your abilities.  Think about getting on the path that God ordained you to walk on.

The last verse gives us some of the most simplistic and best advice we could get.  When you are on the path that God ordained you to walk on, don’t turn off that path!  It’s always easy and fun in the beginning of something new.  The longer you stay at it, the less exciting it might become.  Stay on that path!  God can accomplish more with a steady servant than with a short-lived servant.  Stay true to what God has called you to do today!

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