With my wife, Staci, and I, two very different upbringings produced two very different methods of navigation.
Growing up in suburban Denver, I learned to navigate by city street names and numbers. My sense of compass directions was guided completely by the towering mountains to the west. Every driving trip I took was governed by those two pillars of navigation. Staci, who grew up in a small western Kansas town, on the other hand, considers herself a “landmark” driver. Tell her to look for the red brick schoolhouse, then turn right and look for the yellow house on the left, and she’ll be just fine.
This difference in navigation styles has at times in our relationship led to difficulties in giving each other directions, and we’ve both gotten each other lost on more than one occasion because of it.
Fortunately, however, Scripture’s road map to hope and peace in this life and beyond is pretty clear cut. If you don’t want to get lost, listen to Jesus’s words and follow in His footsteps.
Jesus tell his audience, and us, in John 8:12, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
When trying to figure out the Lord’s direction for our lives, sometimes I think we overcomplicate the directions. We wind up walking in circles when the path Jesus lays out for us is very direct and straightforward, though rarely easy to walk in.
And the problem is, when I stray from His words and begin walking in the wrong direction, I lead others in the wrong direction, as well.
Especially in a time as chaotic as we have been living in over the last year or so, those who are already lost and looking for a direction to turn for hope will look at those who say they follow Jesus for such direction. The question is, if I look at my steps, lived out in my words and actions, where will I lead them?
Paul tells the church in Corinth exactly what this ought to look like:
“[T]hat is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.“ (2 Corinthians 5:19-20, ESV)
In other words, if I want lost hearts to see the hope Jesus offers, then my own footsteps must mirror His.
Where does it start?
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another,” Jesus said while washing the feet of his disciples as a servant prior to the crucifixion.
If I say I follow Jesus, where my steps lead matters, because there is only One Way to salvation and it is through Him.
I pray today my life points the lost to that light.
Daniel Kiewel is a reporter with the Great Bend Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.