I finished a book that I wish I had read many years ago. Andy Stanley’s “Principle of the Path”, provides wisdom gleaned from a very simple principle. To paraphrase – where you end up is determined by which path you choose. What an obvious conclusion, yet one that so often eludes those on a particular journey.
Andy shares some vivid examples of his own not great decision making – especially the driving into the Piazza in Italy…and then dives into the lessons learned from these.
I found myself having “aha” moments all the way through the book. One of the stories Andy shares is of a gentleman who came into his office quite upset with God for sending him so far into debt. Andy helps us (and him) ponder the point that if we track our spending and savings patterns – we set ourselves on this path, why would we expect any other outcome. God’s Word shows us a better way – when we choose not to follow his directions, we head out on our own path and the ending is inevitable.
For me though, it was the final chapters looking a David and his “Jerusalem” moments, that was the most poignant. David – King of Isreal and great, great…great grandfather of Jesus, had watched as the last of his dreams die. After many bad choices (if you’re not sure of David’s story, check out 1Samuel 16 – 2Samuel 24, it will take a while, but you’ll know the author of the Psalms so much better, David is watching as his own son prepares to wage war on him.
In an effort to save the city he loves – he prepares to leave it behind. Without bitterness, yet sadness he says “Let him do to me whatever seems good to him” ( 2Sam 15:26). That him is God. David cries as he leaves, but accepts the future God has planned. David had dreams that because of varing circumstances never came true, and now he is prepared to leave them all behind and trust God with his future – “whatever”.
I have had dreams that have never come to pass as well. Some were fairly easy to let go, others – not so much. Yet the life God has led me into has been so much more than I could have ever imagined.
Letting God mark and prepare the path is so much easier, than when I try to do it alone. Things tend to fall in place, just as they should. “Whatever” is a much better place to be in, so much so, that I have a “whatever” wall hanging in my office. It’s a good reminder to me, when I’m not having a really good day. I could have a hanging that echoes David’s words, or even the words that Jesus cried out to His Father in the garden – “not my will, but yours be done (Luke 22:42).
Letting the principle of God’s path work in my life – that’s a much better way to travel.