10 August 2014

the twisted path

God works in mysterious ways.  So mysterious not even I know how He's working in my life.  Mostly He doesn't fill me in on His plans.

It was over much deliberation and conversation with Him and my wonderful sister in law who I was staying with at the time that I came to be where I am today--working as a nanny in northern Sydney.  I've moved around so much since I moved out of my childhood home a good decade ago.  Mostly due to my 'off-adventuring' status.  Even in between my USA year and my UK double though, the longest I've stayed in one place is two years and that was with a tidal ebb and flow of work.  The past twelve months alone has involved five moves and three different jobs with a few months of unemployment to spread it out.  I'm ever thankful for my older brother and his family letting me overtake their spare room for weeks on end when my jobs have fallen through.  Such generosity!  Although this current job always was a short term position I find myself challenged again with another twist in my path having my contract shortened to now end with August.  In fact this whole idea of a twisted path runs across practically all areas of my life over the last several years.  I round one bend, climbing over tree roots and tripping on rocks, only to see a metre or two ahead to the next bend.  Sometimes it's hard to clarify if I'm actually making any progress.

In these unknown and unsure times, I often hear people read or quote Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.

It irks me.  I don't like the wording of the latest New International Version.  In my opinion, from my point of view, life is just not like that.  It's anything but straight.  Even with God.  In fact, I don't WANT it to be straight. I've found comfort, hope and strength in reading Psalm 23 this year.  The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need...  Partly coz the last several years have felt like walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  And with my imagination it's easy to picture journeying through a valley that is so overrun with vegetation that it's darkened and difficult and you can only hope that this twisted path is winding it's way out the other end.  It's bloody tough.  And that's an understatement!  But it's an adventure!!

A friend read out Psalm 23 for me a few months back and where she said, "He guides me along the right paths for His name's sake" I initially thought she said "wide paths".  It got me thinking though.  Wide paths?  I don't want to take the motorway with it's multiple lanes, whizzing along traffic and boring scenery.  I like the back roads twisting through the less visited places and interesting scenery.  That's where the adventure is.  And for me, life is about the journey; not the destination.

So I'm sticking with the way I originally learnt the Proverbs passage way back in the day; like the New King James Version words it:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

I want to stick close to God.  I want Him to lead and direct me.  A little more clearly or directly would be nice since it's difficult to trust without knowing where you're going.  I'm all for getting out of this valley, even with the appreciation of how I've grown from it, but I'm content with taking the twisted path.