Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. –Psalm 119:35 (NIV)
A curly-haired cherub sat in the seat of the shopping cart, offering toothless smiles to other shoppers; just beyond the infant’s kicking range, a sticky-faced toddler clung to her mommy’s shirttail, sucking a thumb and whimpering on occasion. Halfway down the cereal aisle, a little boy, seven years old at the most, was leaping from one floor tile to the next, clearly enjoying himself.
As I pushed my cart around the corner, I smiled to myself remembering the days when I used to play the same game at the store and how much it annoyed my mom. I remember the challenge of leaping from tile to tile. Sometimes they were close enough that all I had to do was place one foot directly in front of the other. Other times, the gap in between was so far that I needed to summon up my energy (and courage if mom happened to be watching!) and take a long, flying leap in an attempt to land on the preferred floor tile.
The days have long passed since I’ve played the tile-game in the grocery store. But the underlying goal of the game is ever-present in how I live my life. I strive to make every decision I make align with God’s will. He has already pointed out which “colored tile” I need to aim for. Determining how to get from tile to tile is up to me. Sometimes it is easy to figure out how to get there. Other times the distance from my current position to the goal seems formidable.
God’s plan for me and that path I must take to follow it is not broken down into milestones. Milestones are evenly spaced and really nothing more than a tick mark along a route. Unlike milestones, stepping stones are creatively and artistically spread out. They offer firm footing in an area that is otherwise unsuitable to walk. The path of my life is not delineated by mile markers; it is strewn with the stepping stones that my Maker lovingly and creatively placed in my life.