“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”James 4:8
When was the last time you took an adventure and listened to nature surrounding you? Listened to God speaking through all sounds around you? Seeing what God is revealing to you through every detail within your visual field? Feeling His presence in the movement of the wind?
Some of my most defining spiritual lessons have been when I’ve walked outdoors or sat in a peaceful place with my ears and eyes wide open, ready to hear and see what God wants to reveal to me.
When I was a kid, I remember wandering all over the neighborhood walking in the woods, playing in the creek, and climbing trees. Even as a child, I relished the adventures of God’s creation through nature. Not sure at the time, I was paying much attention to God. Although “, even then, He was paying attention to me – teaching and preparing me for greater adventures.
This weekend, I embraced the opportunity to discover God with my youngest daughter as we went on an adventurous walk. She is a very observant, adventurous young lady that is drawn to nature.
She decided this day we shouldn’t walk on the sidewalk near the road but we should take the more adventurous route, a path that would lead us to discovering a few things about nature.
At the start of our journey, we watched a squirrel nibbling ravenously on a pine cone. She was astonished that squirrels ate something other than acorns to survive, perhaps because she has been known to have a back pack loaded with acorns from the school playground.
This little squirrel sparked a conversation on how God provides for all of His creation as Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:26, “the birds in the sky… do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” It was a beautiful opportunity to remind both of us of God’s provisions.
As we continued our adventure and began to walk on the dusty path away from the busy road in our neighborhood, she decided we should make our own path, one that was the least traveled. This path was uneven, muddy, and rocky. She led and I followed. As we walked, she scooped up various types of soil and commented on the erosion and how the elements probably formed the shape carved out in the ground. We continued to walk along trying to determine how to get back to the other side of the pond to journey back home. Each location we approached we discovered the width of the water was a little more than we could cross. We finally saw a log that we could cross that would lead us back to the busy road and home.
When I asked her what she learned on our walk, she said told me “squirrels eat pine cones and sometimes you have to make your own path.”
“Sometimes you have to make your own path…”
I was completely astonished by her words of wisdom. Her words rang in my head as we continued home.
The world presents us with paths that are easy, fun and attractive but sometimes we have to make our own path that is harder, less attractive and not so fun.
This road is the road least traveled because it may seem treacherously uneven, dangerously rocky, and requires a balancing act on a log or perhaps a tight rope. The amazing thing about this road is it sparks a world of discovery of intimacy with God and His creation, leading to a greater success only found at the center of our hearts. Drawing us deeper to the truest part of who we are, united to the love and will of God.
The most interesting discovery on this least traveled path is that “every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.” It is then that “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” (Isaiah 40:4-5)
Jesus did not walk the path that aligned with the world and His journeys were filled with uneven, muddy, dusty and rocky roads. These were opportunities for Him to bring the love of God to all of God’s children. As I personally think of Jesus and my walk of discovery with my daughter, I wonder how my path of broken rocks, muddy ground, tiny gravel, often blocked by a raging river will serve God bringing love to those He is calling me to reveal His love to.
Just as He provides for the squirrel fruits of the earth, I marvel in belief that He will provide for others through the fruits found within me and within you. May we each draw closer to God as we utilize our senses to discover the path He is calling us to serve Him and all His creation.