Friday, July 17, 2009

Just Follow the Guide

He paused on the trail and told me to hold my horse there until he went ahead. Jeff and the kids were behind me as we watched Scott go forward, checking the stability of the rocks, maneuvering his horse through the tight path, turning and pivoting to assess the options. With skill and precision, he moved toward us, calling us forward to follow him.

If I hadn't watched him check the trail and evaluate its condition, I would've turned my little posse around and gone down an easier path! Why choose the difficult route when there's an easy one to take? Why choose the narrow road when the wide road beckons? We had followed our guide for almost two hours, and he hadn't taken us places we shouldn't have gone. Following him had proven a challenge, but never without reward as we skirted the rim and steep sides of Half Moon Lake. He had encouraged when we needed encouragement. He had instructed when we needed teaching. He set a pace to match our experience. Knowing he had cared for us so well to that point, I trusted him. I also trusted the four mounts he had chosen for us, having shown they were quick to respond, sensitive to the terrain, and attentive to our balance. All indications from the guides said, "Come one;" only our fears caused us to hesitate. This was not your county fair ride in the corral!

The family waited while I went first; there was no "changing order" on this route, and JoHanna and I were more experienced. She followed, then Jacob, then Jeff as "clean up." (I prayed he wouldn't have any work to be done!) We each steered our mounts along the loose path, allowing them time to pick their way among the sage and stones. We did our best to shift our balance as needed. I arrived at the bottom behind the guide, turning to watch the family complete the challenge. Each came down to discover Scott's route brought us to the lake's edge with a wide and exhilarating view. Our horses were welcome to splash in and drink deeply. I was so glad we had followed. After accomplishing such a ride and going to such a place, a county fair turn around the ring just won't satisfy and excited; once you go on a ride like this, you want more!

There's no substitute for a good guide. They help us learn how to navigate narrow places of life we instinctively want to avoid, applying what we know. They lead us to places they know will be rewarding and refreshing. They work out confidence and strength in our character as we go to new places and overcome challenges with their help, places we would've hesitated to go.

God wants to show us the "prized views," the beautiful places many do not see, and we don't have to navigate the narrow places alone. Jesus said that,

John 16:13 (niv)

13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
The Holy Spirit is a guide we can trust. Paul helps us to see here in 1 Thessalonians 2 that God also gives human shepherds to exhort, comfort,and challenge us as we walk. We can be guides for others in our life, especially those of us with children or younger friends or relatives, so that they are ready to negotiate the tough trails.

We could've gone with many guides that day at Half Moon Lake, but our guide was caring and competent and worthy of our confidence. So much more is our Holy Spirit! You don't have to be a "merry-go-round" christian. You can mount up and follow the faithful Guide to glorious places!

2 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Sarah Dawn said...

Delighted to meet you! Just found your site via CSAHM. I just started this blogging adventure a few months ago, but continue to be amazed at the joy, encouragement, and faith that I find.

Keep writing, the world is reading.

Hugs from this missionary mommy,
Sarah Dawn

Splashing around in His peace!

Laurie said...

Julie,
So nice to meet you. I love your blog and the peace that you remind me that I have in Christ! I will look forward to coming back.