‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ – Proverbs 3.5-6From Toni Clark:
When I drive up to my parents in North Lincolnshire, I always know when I’m nearly there when I get to Lincoln and can see the beautiful cathedral on top of the hill. The last 25 miles are along Ermine Street – it’s now known as the A15, but apart from a huge bend around the end of the runway at RAF Scampton, it follows the dead straight Roman Road called Ermine Street. It’s the longest straight road in Britain.
When I drive along Ermine Street, I am reminded of these verses – a simple reminder to us to trust the Lord completely, to lean on his understanding not our own, to be obedient to his call and instruction, and he will keep us right. It sounds so easy doesn’t it?
But, as with Ermine Street, it’s not as easy as it first appears. The road, whilst straight, is also surprisingly dangerous – locals know not to try to overtake anywhere along it. There are many hidden dips – as you drive along, you look ahead and think the road is completely clear, and then suddenly a car appears in front of you, reappearing from one of the dips.
So it is with life. We might think we are on a straight path, but things come along that could so easily distract us and take us away from Jesus. We get diverted by all sorts of things – busy with life in general, focussing on things that aren’t good for us, distracted by money and material possessions. All in their own right not bad, but they can be when they become the base for our decision making, when they become our priority, or when they become the thing we follow and listen to. They take us away from Jesus, his will for us and his straight path. However, there are ways we can ensure that we don’t become distracted, that we stay on the straight path. We can do this through trusting God even when times are hard, through reading our Bibles to help us understand how we should live, through our home groups where we can talk together, and through praying to seek a better understanding of God’s will.
But also for me, it is about remembering that even when I think I am on that straight path, I need to constantly remember that it is Jesus I need to trust and lean on, it is his will that I need to submit to, and only then will I know that I am on the straight path he wants for me.