Saturday, August 14, 2010

Um, where are my toes?

My son asked me, "Hey mom, ya wanna go to the river with me today and swim?" Now, you might think I jumped on this idea since it is so very hot. And yes, it would feel wonderful to jump in a cool river, but this girl, well, I do not, may I say, do not ever put my feet where I cannot see them! I know, I am quirky, but it's true. It wasn't even the thought of putting my swimming suit on, it was just plain old can't see my feet in that river, so nope, not today.

I know, a fuddy dud, right? I love swimming. We go to Jacks Fork here in Missouri and even Current River. Which it has to be really hot for me to jump in there, since the water is ice cold. Pools are great and there are other rivers I love, but not this one.

If the water is murky, I simply cannot see my feet. And I must see my feet and everything around them. In that murky water, you can't see where your feet are stepping. It is just a guess that you are going to step on solid ground and not in a hole. You are hoping with each step in that murkiness that you won't step on a sharp rock to cut your toe. And of course, you don't want something to just come out of no where and grab a toe, right? Am I the only one here?

My paths should always be to where I can see clearly before each step. If I am walking in the dark I am just playing a guessing game as to where I might end up. If I continue to walk in the light then I am guided even when darkness is around me. That light in my path simply gives me a place to put my feet safely. I know that in the light nothing is going to jump out and trip me up. In the light I can see what is before me. If I stay focused on the lighted path my feet are always going to be on a foundation that isn't going to give way.

In that murky water nothing is being lit. I am blinded by all that is around. I can feel fear as my feet take a step. I am cautious as to move slowly. I find no trust in that murky water. For me, I would rather be able to see where my steps are than play a guessing game as to what is coming up next. Even in that murky water there are undertows that can grab you and take you down, even when the top is all calm. The calmness on top is tricking you into thinking you are safe, but not seeing those undertows is what takes us down and into the depths where we cannot get out. They drag us down and we are getting whirled about, trying to get back up, but the more we struggle the more it takes us down. Sound familiar? Life is like this at times. We take our eyes off the light and begin moving about in the darkness and before we know it we are being swallowed up.

Remember Jonah? Jonah ended up swimming in the belly of a big fish. Why? He didn't listen to God. God told him to go into Nineveh, but Jonah refused. He ventured out on his own and got sucked up by a big fish and then after he realized what had happened, called out to God and then that big fish spit him out on the sand. Jonah took off for Nineveh after that. He stayed in the light and followed the right path. He knew where his feet were taking him. When we move away from the light we never know when that big fish is going to come out and grab us. I want to be obedient to God. I want my steps to be His. I don't want to walk blindly. In faith I can take a step, but there is light to guide my way. I am not walking blindly into murky water.

You can read all about Jonah in the book of Jonah. It is a short book. Only four chapters, but within those short chapters it packs a punch. It speaks of obedience, anger and mercy. Jonah was angry. I think I can find myself in Jonah. He thought he knew what was best. He took off on his own, just like I do. It is in those times that God will allow me to go out into that murky water so far until He brings me back into the clear that I am seeing His will is the will I should be following, not my own way. It is in my own way that I get lost. But God shows His grace and mercy to me and brings me back into His fold, even when I venture off on my own.

Where are your feet walking today? Are you in the clear, or are you traveling out into the murky waters? When the sun reflects off that clear water it glistens and glimmers, casting out a beautiful light. May we keep our feet in clear water. May we watch where each step takes us. And may each step only bring us closer into the light.

Proverbs 3:5-7 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil."

Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."


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