Our Own Way

Our Own Way

Currently, we have our seven-year-old grandson visiting us. Julian is delightful and thoroughly enjoyable to be around, when he is getting his way. One day this past summer, as we were on our way to the swimming pool, I stopped to indulge his request for an ice cream cone. He decided he wanted a “Big Blast.” He was all smiles as he devoured the horrid-looking blue drink with whipped cream topping.

Our next stop was the video store. When we finally found one he had not seen, I checked it out and was on my way out the door, when I noticed that Julian was not behind me. He had discovered a Nintendo game. By the time we finally left the store, he’d talked me into letting him play for about 30 minutes. Then I had to make a quick stop at a nearby department store for the pair of jeans I’d promised him.

By the time we came out of the department store–without the jeans (he had now decided he wanted a type of jeans the store did not carry)–it was 4:40 pm.

“Julian,” I said, “we are going to have to wait until tomorrow to go swimming. It is too late to swim today.”

He folded his arms abruptly across his chest, stuck out his bottom lip and began to pout and cry. “I want to swim today!” he said, pouting all the way home.

I thought how we adults are like that. Even though many of us are more indulged than most people on this planet and get most of our heart’s desires, we do the same thing in more subtle ways when things don’t go our way.

Isaiah 53:6 says, “All of us, like sheep, have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way.” When you think about it, our “own way” is one of the things we cherish most in life and the thing that keeps us as our own “lord,” or boss of our own lives. Our own way is usually in direct opposition to God’s will and sometimes in opposition to the will of those closest to us. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.”

If we left Julian to his own way, he would be so spoiled that he could not get along in life and could never have working relationships. He must learn that sometimes, when he gets his way, he will not get what he really wants in the long run, which, in this case, was to go swimming on that particular day. Instead, he had frittered his time away doing things that– while not really wrong– were not what he most wanted to achieve that day. He needed the guidance of a wiser, caring mind. He needed discipline with love that would teach him and direct him to the wiser path. Had he listened to this guidance, he could have had what he most desired.

If we ask Him, God will show us the path He has for us, but He does not force us. “`For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. `For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9.

Jesus said, “I AM the WAY, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me.” In Christ’s life, in His death, burial and resurrection on our behalf, the way of salvation and the way of life has been made available to us through faith in Him and what He has done for us. To take our own path is to perish. To take His is life eternal.

By Daphne Harrington

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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