Psalm 25:4 – Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.
Matthew 8:20 – Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (KJV)
Several of my oldest and dearest friends and I had met at some rented cabins for the weekend. We had arrived late at night and had risen early for a refreshing morning walk. On the owner's porch lay an old springer spaniel that had an "air" about him, which begged to be bathed. I'm not sure if I carried my dog's scent or what, but for some reason, the old dog decided to trudge along by me. As I knew neither the name nor the gender, (he) was addressed as "dog". So it was "good dog", "come on dog", during our journey together.
I guess in our efforts to "catch up" on things, we weren't paying much attention to our direction, and after about an hour and a half through the bush trail, we emerged upon a veritable oasis, and weren't really sure where we were. We had been so engrossed in conversation, we hadn't even seen the "private property" sign. There was no alternative but to venture in and ask directions.
It had been a long walk and the tired dog began lagging behind, so I hung back with him, concerned for his well-being and mentally figuring out how we would transport him, should he collapse. Safely back, the dog sank onto the porch for a much-needed rest. That's when I found out that his name was Bentley, and that he often chose to accompany guests on their walks. I am sure he could have led us home, but instead, staying ever near us, he let us find our own way.I thought about how much that was like our relationship with our Lord. He is with us always, even with those who don't yet know His name. He is with us when we go blindly ahead on our own. He stays with us in our decisions on what path to take, and is still there when we find it's been a wrong one and need to ask directions to find our way home.
Prayer: We thank you Lord, for the gift of choice. Thank you for staying with us in those times when we may not be paying attention, when the choices we make, and the paths we take, are not what you would want for us. We thank you for hearing our prayers and for the many ways and people you use to guide us in our directions to find our way home. In your name we pray. Amen.