Saturday, 9 February 2013

Where the paths get even more narrow

There's a place that people are often led to. It has rougher terrain than the usual green pastures and it's climate isn't always bright and sunny. The paths are incredibly narrow and the guide doesn't normally use a light to illuminate the necessary steps - he takes his visitors by the hand instead - such is the care they will need when treading along it's pathways.  

Some get held up in this environment for quite some time. They are used to demanding that their guide takes them from A-B at their speed; revealing truth, direction and results as quickly as he can, like it's an on-the-go fast-food snack. He's into more long-term nourishment though and will often slow things down from time to time. He will often show them milestones on the journey on more than one occasion and when he continues the journey down a familiar path or sends the itinerary round and round in circles, they are likely to get angry, hot under the collar and start doubting that he even knows what he's doing. It's hard for them to see the beauty of the surroundings when it has all become so seemingly commonplace or not what they were expecting/hoping for. 

But, you see, he does know what he's doing. He has been guiding people down this path time and time again. Generation after generation. As each person finds themselves in this difficult of places to navigate through, they always want a quick-fix solution to get them back to their familiar track - to the landscape where they think they know the route better. Where a guide isn't so obviously necessary. Where his hand-led direction isn't so vital. Those places are usually called Comfort and Control.  

This tougher terrain is called Patience.  

The guide is more than happy for you to be there every now and again, even if it's not where you'd hope to be at that precise time. He knows that if you always got what you wanted at the exact time you wanted it, he'd probably never get quality time with you - so he doesn't mind Patience because it's where you speak to him the most. For it is there that he can teach you best about the grander schemes waiting in the forthcoming chapters. It's in the frustration of being there that he can reveal just how intimately he guides you; just how carefully he has chartered those most narrow of paths.  

Walking the pathways of Patience are so important. Your time spent on those tracks are best dictated by the guide - stray from his grasp and it's so easy to get lost and infuriated with your surroundings. But stick close to him and it becomes a season of great training. He'll explain to you that your frustration being there can breathe fuel into your dreams. 

He doesn't promise never to lead you to Patience (he almost certainly will in fact) - but he does promise never to leave you while you're there. The outlook can sometimes look bleaker and the pathways more treacherous - but it's a place where you will get to know your guide much more intimately as he helps you navigate through. Don't lose heart if you're in Patience at the moment - God, your guide, is still right in front of you and he knows precisely where he's taking you. He knows that time in Patience feels like it moves a lot slower than in other places and that really is OK!

Pathways out of Patience are often linked to places such as Breakthrough, Maturity and Responsibility.  

Keep trusting, regardless of your circumstances, regardless of the time frame involved.