Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Right and Left (07/31/14)
TITLE: Life by Impulse
By Diane M. Bowman
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I grew up in south central Pennsylvania, where the majority of roads came into existence without the benefit of strategic planning. A farm lane? Let's pave it. Look, there's a trail beaten down by cattle. Surely, it's good enough for cars, too. Of course, we need a road that follows the boundaries between our two properties.
These older roads all had one thing in common. When you started down an unfamiliar path, predicting your destination was impossible. You could turn left and begin traveling north but wind up going south before you come to the end. To make it even more fun, you probably drove east and west - not to mention up and down - in the middle. You may go somewhere quite interesting or it may simply lead you right back to where you were before.
Despite how much fun it is to play 'Left Right,' the concept doesn't work in real life. It may for a little while, but it has no sustainability. If your decision process is 'I'll try it and see what happens,' it will express itself in very painful ways. It is obviously necessary to take time to pray and carefully consider important changes such as where to live and work. We know God wants us to seek his guidance in major choices, but if we aren't careful, we put this emphasis on too few of the many times we come to a fork in the road.
I wonder if God doesn't see a higher percentage of our choices as life-changing than what we consider to be so important. The paths we select minute by minute have an incredibly significant impact on our lives.
Would I rather follow the uphill way of belief or the downhill way of unbelief? The higher option looks so rugged...
Do I want to take the path of forgiveness or unforgiveness? At first, they seem to run parallel but they lead you in the direction of two very different destinations.
Would it be better to walk down the trail of trust or worry? You might feel like trust is scarier, but the way of worry is ever so much more disturbing to your soul.
We make most of our life-altering decisions on the fly, without the benefit of weeks, days, or even hours to consider the outcome. We choose between two options in a matter of seconds. Our impulses take over and we find ourselves thirty yards down either the lane leading to triumph or despair, looking around with our mouths hanging open; wondering where the path we are on will take us. (And often we are too stubborn to turn around if we realize we were wrong.)
If our impulses make our decisions; the key is to train our impulses, to alter our wishes and urges. I can think of no better method to do this than the approach David described in Psalm 119:11 KJV. Hide the word of God in your heart through reading, memorization, meditation, and prayer.
It is impossible to hide the word of God in your heart before you have reached the realization that God exists and his word is true in its entirety. You must have faith that he is and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6 KJV).
Before Jesus' ascension, he promised the Comforter would come and bring all his teachings to the disciples' remembrance (John 14:26 KJV). If we allow the teachings of Christ into our heart, the Spirit will bring them to mind when the need arises but we cannot expect the Spirit to remind us of something we weren't willing to learn when given the opportunity.
Without the wisdom of the word of God and the leading of the Spirit of God, our lives will end like the game of 'Left Right.'
Out of gas and entirely lost.
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