Show me your ways, Lord,teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me,for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5
The Basic Bible Truth
God has offered to guide us through life. He knows the way through the darkness of this world and can help us to reach our destination without all of the detours and delays that we would stumble upon it we were to travel by ourselves.
String Line Balloons Scotch Tape Drinking Straws Magic Markers
I set this object lesson up as a balloon race, usually as a team competition. The individual strings are pulled, a 3 inch piece of plastic drinking straw is threaded onto each string, and then they are all tied off to something relatively solid. The teams are in charge of deciding how full to blow up their balloon for best efficiency (bigger creates more drag and has less forced pressure, small has more force but if it is too small, it won’t traverse the course), where exactly to attach the straw, using scotch tape, to the balloon (even a slight angle can cause a spiraling effect, and too much down force or up force is not desired either), decoration and character (Every racer needs some kind of drawings on the side and/or front of the balloons), and who has each job. I usually give them a couple of practice runs by themselves with no other racers running, to fine tune their plans. Then the big race.
Imagine how meaningless this race would have been were it not for the string and the straw being involved in the destiny of each balloon entered in the race. Balloons would have travelled aimlessly, arriving at no definite destination, simply expending their brief moment of glory in pointless confusion with no lasting accomplishment. That definition is an appropriate picture of the lives of far too many people in this world. Even Christians. Not every person who claims Jesus as their Savior will release the control of their lives and allow Him to guide them through life.
A balloon is an appropriate picture of our life. The Bible says that we are but a breath, here for a moment and then gone and forgotten. Our lifespan is nothing in relation to the rest of history. We have but a short moment on this earth to make a difference. We should use it to the best of our ability. We need God guiding us.
You will notice that color has no bearing on the success or failure of a racer. Our skin color is no advantage or disadvantage in life, not if we are Christians. God is colorblind and not a respecter of persons. That means, as far as God is concerned, He does not advantage or give preference to one person over another. We are all alike in His definition. Neither does adornment bear any input into winning or losing the race. God does not count financial success or lack of it as an advantage or an impediment to your success in life. Our physical beauty is not a deciding factor in what God terms success either. We need to begin to see things from God’ perspective and throw our cultural inclinations to the side. We cannot, we dare not, point to our racial heritage, our financial status, or our physical attractiveness, and tell ourselves and others that it had any bearing on what God has destined us to accomplish. WHAT GOD DOES IN OUR LIVES IS NOT ABOUT US. IT IS ALL ABOUT HIM!
Big, puffy balloons don’t do as well as slimmer balloons filled with less hot air. That holds true in life as well. God places a big premium on humility. Humility, as God describes it, is not a wimpy, down trodden attitude. My favorite description of humility is to point to my daughter’s horse. He was adopted into our family when he developed serious health issues. A gelding Fox Trotter, he was bred and raised as a show horse. Out in the pasture, or in the corral, he was a normal looking horse, but when someone got on his back, it was his cue that it was competition time and that he was to display everything he had to show the world. His head would fly up, his tail arc proudly in the air, his nostrils would flare and his total demeanor suddenly changed into an animal that looked a if it had taken a big shot of adrenaline. And yet my daughter could calmly sit on his back and with simple, non-verbal cues, command him to do anything she wanted and he would respond accordingly. Power under complete control. That is true humility. God is not looking to squelch our personality and character. He created us with those characteristics, why would He want us to abandon them? He would much rather use them, use us as we are, guide us in the direction that we need to go, much like my daughter would point Magic in the direction that she wanted him to go.
And God’s guidance is the shortest distance between two points—a straight line. Our lives following the direction of God may not be the “shortest” distance physically or time wise. But it is the best. Every time we wander off the path God has laid out for us, we waste time and energy on things of no value. It is only when we come back to His plan that we again are headed the right direction. We waste so much time wandering off on our own, looking to find our own way through life. He has warned us that the path that He chooses is narrow. There is not much room to chase things that are not God’s delight. May we be content to allow Him to guide us, always.