We set off up the "mountain," as the locals call the highest hill in the County. The sun was shining--almost hot--and baby leaves were bursting out much like the joy in my heart. My honey has a permanent upward turn to his mouth when we're all together outdoors. The dog was cavorting wildly through mud bogs and underbrush.
One child tromped ahead with a scowl, seriously hoping we wouldn't meet any of her friends on quads while she hiked along like a plebeian. One lagged behind moaning about the weight of the backpack (which he insisted on bringing).
My contentment was undisturbed. My joy multiplied when Brian told me with an even bigger smile that he was going to show me a trail he'd discovered. That's the kind of gift he really loves to give.
We called ahead to the tromping one that we were turning off here and she needed to come. She argued, he insisted, and off we went. It wasn't long until we realized that she hadn't joined us. Seems she was sure we were all going to end up in the same place. She thought wrong.
I was once that tromping one, veering off in the wrong direction so sure I was right. So annoyed that everyone was freaking out. So confident we would all end up in the same place. What's the big deal? Jeepers. I know what I'm doing!
Daddy went back for his little girl. He loves that stubborn little one and knew she'd become hopelessly lost without him. He pointed out the path for us and reassured us that we would meet up ahead. I hated to see him go! Actually, I resented the fact he needed to go, but I recognized the love. I was torn between mercy and a desire to see her suffer the consequences of her actions.
My Father pursued me when I was on the wrong path too--He knew I would become hopelessly lost without Him. My poor choices also caused pain for those who loved me. I deserved all kinds of things, but not His mercy. Yet He pursued me with love, never giving up until I followed Him back to the right path. A crazy love lavished on the one who had rejected Him!
Meanwhile, we continued down the path Daddy had chosen. One grumping and bewailing the fact that it was too hard, too long, and probably wouldn't get us where we wanted to go. The other little one trucked along enjoying the beauty of the path. Once in a while she would pause and search my eyes--was I sure this was the right way? I'd reassure her that Daddy knew what he was talking about and we could trust him.
I've also been like the grumping one--on the right path but complaining and unthankful, missing all the beauty and subjecting others to my misery. No doubt others around me on the journey wished I'd just shut up and enjoy it already. And I have been like the little one joyfully ascending the mountain stopping for reassurance from time to time. I'm so thankful for all the ones who have encouraged me in those wondering moments that I can, indeed, trust the Father. Follow the path He's directed and all will be well.
True to his word, we were reunited with Daddy and the (somewhat subdued) lost-and-found one. Together we scaled the last very steep bit. The wind whipped around us as we stood at the summit laughing.
The vista was breathtaking.
Absolutely worth the journey.
If when we were at our worst,
we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son,
now that we're at our best,
just think of how our lives will expand and deepen
by means of his resurrection life!
Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God,
we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose.
We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!
Romans 5:10-11 MSG