When I was a youngster, we used to take yearly pilgrimages to West Virginia to visit my mother’s family there. This was long ago back in the dark ages before children were effortlessly entertained with dvd players, tablets, and cell phones. It was also before there were any seat belt laws.
When my brothers and I got tired of the standard pastimes of finding signs with every letter of the alphabet and counting the cattle on a thousand hills, we invented our own highly entertaining game called “Lean the Way Gravity Pulls You”. This fantastic game consisted of letting our back seat bodies fall upon whoever was sitting on the side of the car on the same side as the curve we were driving around. There are endless curves on the back roads of West Virginia so this game kept us entertained for long periods of time. Lucky was the person sitting in the middle–that person was never squished–just got to do all the squishing of beloved siblings.
The direction we fell was not determined by our own efforts but by the chance of whatever direction the engineers who built the road decided to place the curves. Sometimes I live my life just as haphazardly. When I lean upon my own understanding, I am susceptible to the winds of current fads and beliefs. I am swayed by how others have chosen to build their roads. I have no firm direction and am liable to get dangerously sidetracked in my spiritual walk.
God does not promise to direct my path unless I acknowledge Him first. When we first moved to South Carolina some years ago, our children had no health insurance. We had not lived here long before I needed to take a child to the doctor. I did not know any good doctors or clinics nor did I know if we would be able to afford a doctor visit. At the time we had large medical bills due to Jacinto’s heart problems, and money was tighter than tight.
I got out the phone book and turned to the yellow pages and looked up pediatricians. I had no idea who to call. I prayed, “Lord, would you please show me where we should go that we can afford?” I opened my eyes, and the first name I saw was Brookland Pediatrics so I picked up the phone and called them. They informed me that their clinic operated on a sliding scale fee. That doctor visit only cost us $10!
I knew without a doubt that God had directed my path because I had asked Him for direction. I couldn’t help but wonder how many times God would have directed my path in other situations and needs, but I had not stopped to ask for His guidance. So many times I forge ahead confident that I know what I’m doing, how to fix problems, how to find solutions without stopping to acknowledge my Lord first and asking for His direction! How many blessings have I missed by leaning upon my own understanding?
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6