There is a statement in the Bible that describes God as a guide who’s like a lamp or light on a darkened path. The visual is powerful if you’ve ever found yourself in unfamiliar territory and needing to be guided.
Gary was our guide with 25 years of experience. He knew the path and how to safely lead us there. He hadn’t always been the guide, but had started as the guides helper, did that for five years, he reminds us. Gary became our guide as we embarked on our river adventure. Gary showed us to our raft, helped us get situated, and off we went. We shared a few niceties as he proceeded to take us down the river on his well-constructed bamboo boat. We proceeded down the 8-mile river journey, making a few comments to one another as we took in the natural beauty of our surroundings. Exceptional. We listened, looked and laughed, all good ways to engage your journey.
The journey of life
I reflected on the similarities that we find in the journey of life. Initially, when we begin the journey of life, we are fully dependent on others. The baby is incapable of doing anything and must need the total care of another to survive. However, as we grow and age, we desire independence and are guilty of rebuffing much of the guidance that is offered to us. A common reference of teenagers, for example, is that they assume their parents know little and they know more, until they hit their early adult years. Our early adult years quickly mature, and we are faced with the spectrum of experiences that life offers. Our responses to these experiences often say much about our character, maturity and faith.
We were required to have a guide in order to journey down the river. You could tell Gary the guide, knew the river well, as he navigated the current, small little rapids, the ever-changing depth and various obstacles. The guide was crucial for us to have a successful, safe and enjoyable journey. I remember, at one point, watching the guide quietly labor with his river pole, as he systematically and rhythmically, moved us along. He didn’t say much. He never complained. He appeared to be enjoying himself as he placed us under his care and guidance. I leaned over to Lisa, at one point, and reflected on how he, Gary, the guide reminded me of Jesus. I couldn’t help but think that my life is in His hands and under His guidance. I, too, initially think I don’t need Him but quickly realize I do.
Let me lead
One of my friends was on the raft behind us and convinced his guide to let him take a shot at navigating the raft down the river. The result was comical as we watched him lose his balance and fall into the river. Oh, how I can relate. “God, let me lead. I can do what you do. Give me control. It doesn’t look that hard, please God.” The results are usually not much different than that of my friend.
I love the fact that God offers to be my guide, and I’m pained at how often I reject, ignore or arrogantly dismiss His guidance. I love that He loves to guide me and often He does so quietly. He simply and faithfully guides me through His Word, His people, His presence in prayer, His creation, His Spirit and His worship. God’s guidance reminds me just how much I need Him and how much I am to obey and honor Him. God chooses to guide me, and His example is to be my example. Gary helped me see God that day.
Stephan N. Tchividjian is the president and founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit southflorida.ncfgiving.com to learn more.
Read more articles by Stephan Tchividjian at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/author/stephan-tchividjian/