Our intrepid son and daughter-in-law hiked up Pike’s Peak, but we drove, oohing and aahing as the car carried us through rugged pines, scattered wildflowers, and startling rock formations. Past the tree line the view changed dramatically, and we began to notice sheer drop offs leading straight down to a mile of nothingness. My cautious husband gripped the wheel and hugged the center line while both of us confessed that the loveliness of the winding switchbacks and hairpin turns had been dramatically diluted by our awareness that there were no guardrails between us and the beautiful abyss to our right.
As believers, we walk a narrow path, and maybe, at times, it feels as twisty and perilous as our ascent to the Pike’s Peak summit. In a recent Renovare podcast, Luci Shaw shared details from her own ninety-plus-year pilgrimage on that narrow path, and as usual, she had startling insight to share
Jesus said there’s a narrow path, which I think is a focused path, not a restrictive path.”
Freedom to Focus is the Gift of a Narrow Path.
Jeremiah wrote wisdom about ancient pathways in which God directly recommends the known way to his scattered people:
Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”Jeremiah 6:16
There’s certainly a time for breaking trail and tackling adventure, but often we find our flourishing life by walking the known way. Understand me when I say that our Colorado vacation was delightful, and I would not have wanted to miss seeing Pike’s Peak all the way to its 14,000 foot summit, but there was definitely no comfort to be found in those wide-open spaces. I’d have welcomed the presence of sturdy guardrails between me and the sheer, red-rock faces of those descending cliffs!
“Jesus said there’s a narrow path, which I think is a focused path, not a restrictive path.” #LuciShawTweet
Freedom to focus is the gift of a narrow path. #guardrails
In the same way, I want to give thanks for the guardrails protecting my narrow and gloriously focused path:
Weekly worship with the church gathered, communal life around grace, blessed accountability.
Daily Bible reading, a discipline that nourishes and tethers me to truth.
Prayer like breathing, prayer without ceasing–not like a chain around my ankle, but like an oxygen mask.
Ashley Hales writes beautifully about spacious living within our God-designed limits:
“We think guard rails restrict our freedom… Good guardrails protect us from falling off the side of the cliff and also allow us space to play, explore, and even fail, knowing we are secure. Creativity flourishes amidst constraints.” (A Spacious Life, 112)
Are there limits in your life right now around time, space, finances, or opportunity that have left you frustrated and discouraged? What if you began looking at them as guardrails, a gift from God who knows you well and wants you to live focused and flourishing?
Let’s continue the conversation in the comments. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts…
Holding you in the Light,
Thanks be to God for his glorious guardrails:Tweet
Weekly worship with the church gathered
Daily Bible reading, a tether to truth.
Prayer like breathing
The fall issue of Joyful Life Magazine is out now, and it includes an article from me! Look for “If I’m Already Forgiven, Why Do I Need to Confess My Sins?” Too, my friend Sue Moore Donaldson is sharing her thoughts on spiritual growth. This print publication will orient your gaze toward the beautiful growth and change that the Lord is working in our hearts and our homes.
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