Trail MarkingsPosted: May 3, 2012
Recently, my mind wondered back to a Boy Scout hike where one scout went ahead of the rest to mark the trail that should be followed. You can see some traditional trail marking signs here. Some were painted on trees, others cut into trees, they used rocks or sticks on the ground, or any other available resource to communicate to the rest of the troop which way we should go.
In life, business, or whatever path you are travelling down, someone has likely gone before and the trail may already be blazed. Unfortunately, they have not always marked the trail, or maybe they have and their markings have become overgrown. There are many reasons why the trail is no longer well-marked, but that should not stop you from continuing on the journey.
I have written about my personal journey down a trail in this blog. Let me share with you how I am finding those trail markings in my life to give me direction.
- Prayer Prayer works. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that prayer is a two-way conversation, not simply you speaking to God. You must also take time to listen. God will show you the way. Many times God has spoken to my heart providing clear direction–“go this way;” other times I wish He had, but just said “don’t go down this path.” Regardless, if I listen and obey the trail markings He has provided, I am headed in the right direction and usually, the markings again become clear. At least for a time.
- Wise Counsel God tells us in Proverbs 15:22 that “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Others may remember going down the path you are on. They may be able to point out landmarks to watch for, pits to avoid, and vistas to appreciate that you may miss because you are focused down on the path or your eyes are peeled for the next marking. Share your journey with others and listen for the wise counsel that God will put along your path. As I have shared by journey and where I am along the path, I have met some amazing people who have been on a similar path–not necessarily the one I am on–and have provided some great advice to help me along the way.
- Patience There is a reason God only provides a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119: 105). He doesn’t want us to look too far ahead and He is providing what we need right where we are. There have been many times along this path I am on that I wish I were at the end, the destination. But God wants me to go slower, to learn some things, to experience some things, to trust Him. It is hard, but once I arrive at the destination, I will have appreciated and grown from the journey that much more.
How well marked is the path you are on? How are you discerning the trail markings when it isn’t so clear?