Every Monday at 6.45 I gather with a handful of other men on someone’s porch. Fellow believers who, for various reasons, also live here in Rwanda. One of them is probably 20 years older than me, but has experiences you would think would take several lifetimes to accumulate.
He’s been going through a season of change, potential transition, with a lot of confusion, and lack of clarity. The last few weeks he keeps coming back to what he feels the Lord is putting on his heart:
the journey is the destination.
Last week we looked at how the sheep in Psalm 23 are so content in their shepherd that they are less interested in things like water and grass than one would expect. Today is a brief passage -but at least for me packs a lot of punch in it. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Notice where the shepherd leads – not TO someplace (“a meadow” or “pasture” or something) – but ALONG some path. A path of righteousness.
The journey is the destination.
In the Psalm, King David doesn’t specify where this path leads or what he hopes it ends. We have already read that the shepherd leads beside still waters, and to green pastures – but it seems we’re still going.
I think sometimes we get convinced that the goal of following Jesus is to get to heaven – a twisted version of our understanding of this life. Yes – we WILL (by His grace) get there – but is that THE goal? Just limp through this life, dodging whatever evil and hurt in this life – so we can get to the next life?
The shepherd doesn’t just pick us up and take us to the destination – he allows us to walk, and leads us. There must be a reason for that.
(see – told you there was a lot in that tiny passage – and we haven’t even touched “for his name’s sake)
Reflect on how these three verses speak to you about the path you are following right now:
Psalm 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,”
Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to thy word.”
Clearly, the Bible is key to finding and following this path, but not all.
Romans 8:14, “All who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.”
Without the leading of God’s Spirit – we may still go astray, even with the gift of his written word.
Where is the righteousness (rightness, God-honoring, justice, right-relationships) in the path?
You have given me your word,
The example of your Son,
And the indwelling of your Spirit.
All of which help guide me.
But I’m easily distracted,
second-guess your instructions,
and just stubbornly ignore.
Teach me on this journey.
Use me on this journey.