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Friday, May 28, 2010

Going in the Wrong Direction

Jason was able to take off a couple of hours yesterday, so we took the dogs up to Falls Creek Falls. It's not a long hike, but it is pretty strenuous. Still, the view of the falls is worth every step.

Anyway, we hadn't walked far before the dogs began their exploration. Tippy has only recently discovered the joy of following Mitch into "the great unknown." She usually can't keep up, but she's been doing very well lately, so she's been joining him in his little forays into the forest. The problem with Tippy is that she still can't really keep up. She follows him into the woods just far enough to where she can't see us anymore. From there, she's lost because Mitch has already disappeared. What can I say? She has my sense of direction . . . or lack thereof.

Yesterday, they both took off into the woods. Mitch came down to the trail only moments later. Tippy, however, could be heard but not seen, so we called to her. Evidently, she heard our calls, but she couldn't figure out where we were. The next thing we knew, she popped out of the woods and started running . . . in the opposite direction, back toward the beginning of the trail. We called to her, but she only ran that much faster. (In her defense, sounds can really be distorted in the woods.)

We stopped calling to her figuring that if we didn't she'd probably be back at the truck looking for us. We waited a couple of minutes, and when she didn't come back, Jason went to find her. She had gotten a good ways down the trail, covering ground that we had covered only moments before. When Jason caught up to her, she finally realized her mistake, turned around and ran to him. She was tuckered and a little scared, but otherwise unharmed. She made a point of not wandering off the rest of the trip. Poor thing!

I often hear voices calling to me, and like Tippy, I sometimes struggle to figure out from where (or whom) the voices are coming. Is the Lord speaking to me? Are my own desires calling my name? Is Satan luring me away from the tasks I'm supposed to be doing? Whose voice am I hearing? Where is it coming from? At times, it's truly difficult, and I find myself running in the wrong direction, recovering steps that I've already walked or heading off in a direction I have no business going.

I think, it was for these times that God says, "Be still." You see if Tippy, when she first heard us calling, had stopped and listened, she may have been able to figure out which direction to go. But because she was in such a hurry to get to us, she found herself much farther away. In times of confusion, when I don't know whose voice I'm hearing or from whence it is coming, the best thing I can do is to be still. Silence the voices. Ignore the confusion. Resist the impulse to run. Just be still. In that stillness, God will make all things clear.

It's hard enough to climb the hills once. Let's avoid having to climb them a second time. What do you say?

Be still and know that I am God. - Psalm 46:10

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