The Many Paths

Psalm 25:4-5 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

I get really frustrated when I’m lost.  When I’ve missed a turn on my GPS, or I can’t find a restaurant I’m supposed to be meeting a friend at, I get angry.

It would have been much worse for the ancients who wrote these psalms, who had no GPS, no iPhone, no maps and no compass to navigate with.  There was a reason people stuck to known paths and trails.  Robert Frost might have had the privilege of taking the path less traveled, but in ancient times, it could have meant death.

I think this is why there’s so much imagery in the Bible about God’s ways, paths and roads.  In a time and place where life was often chaotic and short, a well-made road was predictable, and could last a long time with the right maintenance.

For progressive Christians like us, sometimes sticking to the path can feel conformist, old fashioned, boring, traditional. Sometimes it is. Sometimes the road deserves to be torn up and made anew, because it was filled with bigotry or hatred.

But God reminds us in this Psalm that the road to God’s truth is not contained in one path.  It reminds us that God maintains many faithful roads, and has created many spaces where God’s truth is taught.

For a good and faithful road that leads us to where we need to be, we give thanks and praise.

Prayer:  Creator of Paths, we know your truth in Jesus Christ, and that there are many paths through him that lead to you. Sustain us on our ways, for we know that the roads can be rocky and full of traps and travails. Redeemer of the nations, be with all the travelers of the world.  Amen