We often take our two dogs out walking at a nearby lake named Lake Wattacoo. It is a secluded place that consists of two or three different trails, a small lake, a distant waterfall, etc. It's really a beautiful place, and because it is secluded, we find that it's a good place to go to "get away from the world." (Plus, the dogs really enjoy it.)
At one point, there is a fork in the trail that leads out of the woods. Our older dog, Tippy, is precious, but not the brightest crayon in the box, if you know what I mean. She constantly takes the wrong side of the fork, and the bad part is that she doesn't realize she's going the wrong way. I think, in her mind, she sees that we're headed in the same direction and so assumes the trails must lead to the same place. What she doesn't know is that a little farther along her trail, the path turns and basically leads back to where we just came from. So, each time she goes that way, we have to call her and literally convince her that she's going the wrong way and to trust us because we know what's best. Many times, she'll ignore our warnings, only to find herself alone, turned around, and headed in the wrong direction. That's when she starts running back in an attempt to catch up with us.
Just like Tippy, I am sometimes not the brightest crayon in the box. I try to do things my own way in my own strength. My ultimate goal is the glory of the Lord, but I try to accomplish this through my own devices instead of the way He has set up for me to follow. Just like Tippy, I am convinced that since the paths are headed in the same direction, they must end up in the same place. I, too, am often convinced that my way is better or easier. And unfortunately, I often ignore the warnings of the Master that I am on the wrong path. Instead, I plod along my trail, allowing the Master to get farther and farther from my view, until I find myself alone and unsure how I came to be back at the place where I started. Oh, if only I would heed the direction of the Master. It would save me from re-walking a lot of trails!
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6