Monday, April 1, 2013

The Winding Road

That day it seemed to be April showers in March, you might say. Leaving the physician’s office, the clock on the car dash struck rush hour o’clock. The afternoon ushered in an angry rain, and there I was, trapped in the middle of the downpour. The matter at hand now was to bypass the traffic jam sprawled before me. In my neck of the woods, when used together in a sentence rain and traffic become like two four-letter words of the foulest kind. They have a collaboration reputation worse than oil and water.

“Oh Lord, please get me home safely,” I prayed.

The gridlock started in the parking lot, and the herd of cars oozed onto the street like a big blob of gook. Making good use of the standstill, I inquired of Google maps for clues to an alternate route home. All brake lights seem to be headed east so by golly I wanted my brake lights to flash the peace sign as I headed WEST. I found a route just as the traffic began to crawl. So I turned left instead of right and allowed the female voice on the other end of the map to guide me home.

Although I’ve been in this great city for many years, there are still many roads I’ve not traveled. I love new routes. The scenery is fresh and new, and this path did not disappoint. The slick, road coiled before me like a snake in a rainforest. Grand stately homes seemed to rise up out of the lush green forest-like setting, complete with tall Georgia pine trees and blankets of ivy. The road was lined with gated entrances and steep dramatic cliffs. There was so much to see along this new route, but the near blinding rain forced my gaze into a locked position straight ahead.

Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. – Proverbs 4:25

At the time, my husband and I were walking through a YouVersion bible reading plan entitled “Marriage: A Lifelong Journey.” As the scripture that accompanied the day’s devotion whispered to me, a smile softened my face.

Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil. – Proverbs 4:26, 27

The sky was gray and darkened. The road was unfamiliar and windy. The rain was fierce and unapologetic. Wisdom encouraged me to remain alert, undistracted and to pay close attention to the road ahead of me. Gazing too long to my right, to my left or even behind me could have dangerous consequences.

And such, I do believe, is the lifelong journey of marriage. This is certainly a new and unfamiliar road for me. I expect the road to be long and windy, filled with great scenery – rich, lush landscape, gated entrances on one side and steep cliffs on the other. At some points, rain will fall and the sky may grow dim. But we should keep our eyes focused on the road ahead at all times. Not allowing our gaze to linger to our right or to our left and certainly not looking back. Instead we should watch the path of our feet, right there in front of us, and all our ways will be established.

I made it home safely that day, and I have taken the same route again since then. Of course the same scripture lesson always comes to mind. Words to live by in marriage and in life, don’t you agree?