Thursday, April 29, 2010

Following Distance

I love that my kids are getting old enough to be exercise partners. Connor rode his bike tonight while I jogged. It was perfect weather, maybe a touch warm but I am not complaining about that. We took the two mile circuit that I used to do a couple summers ago. For the most part he was a good exercise companion; our route took us past a park so we stopped off for a swing and a slide. I'm not really training for speed, just endurance. It also took us past a variety of barking dogs, some in fences, some on leashes, but one in particular was free to run and chased Connor down the sidewalk. Anyone who knows my son knows what a trauma that was.

As we were getting close to home, he started getting a little quirky. I would be halfway across a street, telling him to come on, and he would just stare at me from the corner with his finger in his mouth. Eventually it dawned on me that he must have a loose tooth, his first one. But while I was standing in the middle of the road, telling him to hurry up and follow me, God was speaking loud and clear.

God leads. We are supposed to follow. But what happens when we just stand there and stare at Him, not making any progress? What if He is calling us to come on, keep moving, and we just plant our feet and refuse to move? Besides the obvious...going nowhere fast...we are also standing in disobedience. We are missing out on the journey that God is trying to lead us on.

Sometimes we don't move because we are preoccupied with our present adventure, like Connor and his tooth. He was so focused on what was going on right then that he was missing an invitation to move. I get so caught up in the drama of my daily life that sometimes I don't always hear God calling. He is ready for me to take a step in my journey of faith, and I am too busy focusing on where I currently am.

Other times, we clearly hear Him calling, but we are too afraid to follow. I could see the dog that ended up chasing Connor and told him to stay on his bike and keep pedaling, that I would deal with the dog. He jumped off his bike and started running in a panic. When trouble strikes, God tells us clearly to keep our eyes on Him, and He will handle it. We become so immobilized by the scariness of the situation that we forget Who has our back.

There are times when we just get tired. It is hard to take the next step, and the next step, and the next step, when they always seem to lead in a circle. But God, (and you know how I love that phrase, But God...) knows the way our journey is going to go. We feel like we are in a desert with no mile markers, like the Israelites of old, but God knows where the promised land is. He will lead us there when we are ready for it. Sometimes going in circles is part of the journey.

When I kept calling to Connor, mostly I was irritated that he wasn't listening. He was willfully ignoring me. He was being disobedient. (I gave him a little grace once I figured out about the wiggly tooth.) I told him that if he didn't follow when I called him he could get hurt. I was trying to lead him safely home and couldn't do that if he didn't stay next to me. That is when the Lord spoke loudest to me. How many times have I stood and not listened and gotten hurt in the process? There is not only safety in sticking close to God, there is freedom from the things that hurt us when we wander off on our own.

Next time you feel God calling you but you don't feel your feet moving in the right direction, think about it. Why are you still standing there? Fear? Rebellion? Pride? Busyness? Let me encourage you that He will not take you anywhere that He isn't willing to go too. Look for the adventure waiting, keep pedaling, and follow. Home is waiting.
"He leads me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:24


  1. Again, you bring God into the everyday life events. Though I don't have a young one who is disobedient, I, myself, am. Thank you so much for reminding me not only of His sovereignty but His sincere desire to keep us from harm, keep us close to Him, and show us the safe way home.