March 26, 2010
Follow the Yellow Brick Roads
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Editor
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
In my office, it's been all about The Wizard of Oz this month.
No, I'm not having a movie-watching marathon session of this popular musical. I'm just inspired by the "vintage musicals" calendar that's hanging on my bulletin board and how this month's selected musical is The Wizard of Oz.
I have loved watching the 1939 movie version with Judy Garland as Dorothy, Ray Bolger as The Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as The Cowardly Lion and Jack Haley as The Tin Man. Their mission was simple: follow the yellow brick road to the Wizard so that he could help Dorothy get back home to Kansas again.
Along the way, there were some obstacles: life-like trees that weren't just there to "hug," flying monkeys that weren't just kidding around and scary individuals (a green-skinned Wicked Witch of the East ... yikes!). But there were also some helpful friends (Glinda the Good Witch, The Munchkins) who encouraged Dorothy to stay focused and be brave on her journey.
So, hurrah for Dorothy. She had a clearly defined path (highlighted in yellow, nonetheless) to follow. And follow it she did.
But what about the rest of us? We don't always have one, clearly defined path down which to travel in life. Sometimes, there are multiple yellow brick roads. And then what are we supposed to do?
There you are, standing at the crossroads and wondering which way to go. Each road seems like it could be viable and just as promising as the next. But there is hesitation. There is no clear direction. And so you wait.
So how should you bide your time until the Lord reveals which way he wants you to go? It is so easy to let the flesh reign supreme in times like this. But take it from me: impatience, frustration and taking matters into your own hands will get you nowhere fast. It's best to wait on the Lord and his timing.
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed," Proverbs 16:3 says. Have you done that today? Have you given to God whatever potential plans or apparent roads are in front of you?
"The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out," Proverbs 18:15says. Have you sought advice or know-how from those who may have gone down various roads that you are now contemplating? What words of wisdom have they shared with you that may shed some light or help to point you in the right direction?
"A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?" Proverbs 20:24says. Even though you may not see what is going on or what might lie ahead, are you trusting that God is in control and has a plan that is best for you?
"If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand," Psalms 37:23-24says. Have you committed to serve the Lord first in your life, no matter what? And do you believe that he will carry you, no matter which road he takes you down and no matter what may trip you up along the way?
If you stand at a crossroads today and wonder which way to go, know that this decision is not all up to you. Bigger and better than any earthly wizard, our God is leading each of us on a pilgrimage to closer relationship with him as we get nearer and nearer to our eternal home.
Intersecting Faith & Life: "There's no place like home. There's no place like home." That's what Dorothy repeated to herself when she wanted to get back to Kansas. And similar thinking goes for us, too. Are we eternally-minded in our daily living here on earth? Are we seeking to serve the Father rather than follow our own interests? No matter what pathways are set before us today, let us look to our heavenly Father to change our hearts and order our steps.