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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Walk (07/20/06)

TITLE: Thoughts Along A Country Road
By Frank Parrino


Thoughts Along A Country Road

I looked forward to our weekly morning walks. Jacob and I were blessed with a gorgeous day for our Saturday morning trek. The previous evening we met for prayer. An unexpected thunderstorm came through the area just as we said, “Amen.” Was this awesome outburst of lightning and thunder His Amen to the prayers of His humble servants? I had been praying for Christians to walk, that is, to conduct our Christian lives in a more faithful and consistent manner. Why? I have been saddened to see a number of people over the years that lay claim to the name Christian in league with those in the church at Sardis and Laodicea. The former were Christians in name only. The later were Christians wading in the waters of lukewarm ness to the things of the Lord. Neither was helping promote the cause of the gospel. On the contrary, each was damaging the fair Name of Christ. I was troubled by the parallels to say the least.

What I especially treasured was the words of wisdom that Jacob bestowed along the way. It was his trademark to say something that was turning through and troubling my mind. This leisurely paced and picturesque walk through one of the hilly back roads of our rural town was no exception. “Be careful how you walk. There is much to confuse a person and steer them off the King’s Highway.” At first my mind was lost in the beauty of the scenery. Dairy farms sprinkled their weather worn wares as far as the eye could see. Distant silos snuck their sun reflected heads above manicured rows of tall corn stalks. Bull frogs croaked approval from their lily pads, celebrating the last of the morning mist fading over their algae topped ponds.

I noticed the charming road we walked was lined with waves of wildflowers. Clusters of Yarrow showed off their disk shaped white flowers. These served to sharpen the color of the numerous violet blue cup-shaped, New England Asters. Occasionally, a small congregation of the shorter rosy checked Rose Angels popped up their fair heads to augment the wild growing assembly. “The Psalmist reminds us in the very first verses of his opening song that the blessed person walks not in the counsel of the wicked. The child of the Blessed One doesn’t stand in the path of sinners nor sits in the seat of scoffers.” I snapped out of my flora induced fever and quickly focused upon Jacob’s Scriptural comments.

“The wicked, sinners, and scoffers are different descriptions of those who walk according to the course of this evil world. Their common denominator is “Rebellion against God.” Their counsel consists of ungodly advice and principles which are contrary to that of the sure Word of the Lord. Many are led astray to walk after this deception, thinking greener pastures lie ahead for them in the everyday affairs of life. Notice the progression. Once heeded, the counsel of the wicked brings a person to stand with those who oppose the ways of the Lord. Once they maintain this posture it is not long before they take their sit with scoffers who make a mockery of all that is holy, righteous, and good.”

A comfortable morning breeze picked up as we rounded a bend in the road. “The trail of this world has many seemingly attractive by-passes. Each track whispers in your ear, ‘this is the way to truth and happiness.’ However, the routes laid out by this evil threesome, is only intended to steal our minds and affections away from Christ and the old paths He walked in the days of His flesh. Jesus is the only WAY, the only TRUTH, and the only LIFE! We are being told by other voices; even Christian ones there are many different roads to walk in life. Find one that is best for you.”

All the while I soaked these sobering words in like a dry plant given a shower of refreshing water. Jacob quoted the words of the prophet.

Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is;
and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’ (Jeremiah 6:16 ESV).

We walked and prayed and wept that many would be careful how they walked and would cling to the ancient paths.

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