I sat for a moment or two with my Bible in my lap wondering why the unpleasant event of yesterday transpired and what I should do about it. I was no closer to understanding it or knowing what to do now than I had been after I hung up the phone fifteen hours earlier. So, I looked down and began reading.
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you. Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (3:3-6).
First, I gained perspective about my standard: While still not being clear what to do, I realized I must never digress from kindness and truth. And based upon the text, this will be easier said than done; otherwise, why would it say “bind” and “write”?
Second, I was reminded that my perspective must be one of trusting the Lord and not one of depending on my own smarts. Regardless of what course of action I decide on, I must acknowledge Christ as my life.
And finally, I realized God would make my path straight. I like that.
I’m the type that likes to get on with it once a goal is established or a destination is declared. “Straight” is a good thing.
But by the same token, nowhere does the text imply that “straight” is synonymous with easy or expeditious. Curvy roads are curvy because they avoid the more challenging, more costly, more demanding route that is straight. Straight doesn’t go around; it goes up, down, through and over.
As though offering encouragement for the day, the chapter went ahead to say, “Do not be afraid of sudden fear, nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught” (25-26). Now those are good words for hurt feelings, as well as feelings that are uncertain about the burglar lurking in the neighborhood.
The police tell me they failed to apprehend the burglar.
If the status quo remains intact, I’ll hear the helicopter again in the night, the dog will remain curled up on her bed, and I’ll get another chance to review the thoughts from Proverbs I’ve shared with you in this blog.
While I have no hope of explaining the significance of the helicopter to the dog, I do have a choice about traveling a curvy road or a straight one.
Straight is a good thing.