My grandson was a couple weeks from turning 3 and my daughter was nearing 4 when I took them to the State Fair. Isaac was on an adrenaline high of his own making. His eyes twinkled and his little legs kicked in his car seat as he anticipated the fair with excitement. Once inside the fairgrounds it was a struggle just to keep up with him. That being said, when I let him give the attendant the tickets for the Funhouse he darted away from me so fast I didn’t have a chance to explain that we were walking through a maze of mirrors and plastic window panes. (It wasn’t made of glass for obvious reasons). I ran behind him calling his name. But he didn’t want to listen, instead he began to run head-on into the those window panes. I could see him several steps ahead as I was trying to hurry my daughter along. He would smack into a window pane, bounce off and stop for a moment only to take off running again, ignoring my words of warning.
I wanted to guide him as I was trying to do with my daughter. Instead I found myself dodging the window panes and fun mirrors, calling for my daughter behind me, hoping she could keep up. My grandson was so excited that he simply continued, running into one window pane of plastic after another, perhaps thinking that was the point of the Funhouse.
Of course the idea of the experience was to figure out which was the real path to take and which was the fake one. The adventure went by way too fast for the price of the tickets. We didn’t even get to really see our “funny” selves in the mirrors. Even though I was stressed between keeping up with him and waiting for my daughter, I laughed in the end because it was definitely a funny sight to see.
I think the paths today that we each are anticipating can be similar to that Funhouse. Some of us take time to make the right choices and cautiously strategize the window panes and mirrors in our path while other people just keep right on smacking into those window panes one after another. Or perhaps we learn from the first time we hit one hard enough.
Which path are we suppose take? What IS right? What is truth for us today anyway?
We used to go into a grocery store checkout line and see fabricated stories or news splattered in cheap magazines and kind of laugh. Perhaps we even bought them here and there to see what someone might write, knowing that it was made up.
Unfortunately today we come across fake or untrue news and incorrect information almost daily. The truth is hard to find. I am beginning to wonder what is truth and what is fabricated. What can we actually believe anymore that is written on any paper, posted on the internet or proclaimed on the media. I have fallen for lies and have been quickly reprimanded to make sure that I confirm my information, which is good. But it is like “truth” has become a grey area and hard to find.
I recall a few years ago how the media was talking trash about an individual that I happened to have known. It made me think about the garbage spewed out about celebrities that I do not know.
And then I thought about someone I know personally but have never met in person that has had lies and falsehoods spoken about him or what he stood for. That someone is Jesus. Is he indeed truth? Is what he said or what he believed truth?
I believe HE is about the only truth left in this crazy world. And a wise path to take. I don’t say these things because someone told me that I needed to believe BUT because I have had my own experiences.
What did Jesus say about himself? He said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV)
He didn’t say those words because he wanted glory for himself. He said that because he wanted HOPE for us. He wants us to find the right path, like I wanted to do for my grandson. He doesn’t want us to have to go through unneeded pain. Poor Isaac kept running into those window panes, and falling. If he had waited and listened and followed me he could have enjoyed his adventure a lot more. He could have stopped and laughed as he looked into the mirrors. But he wanted to do it is his way, like we all often do.
Remember the second verse in the old hymn: What a Friend We Have in Jesus?
“Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.”
A lot of times we go through broken lives and needless pain because we haven’t taken a moment to pray about our choices. Instead we follow a road that carries with it unhappy consequences. Yet the Lord is full of mercy, full of grace, full of forgiveness and even if we choose to take the harder path or fall he is right there to pick us up. He is the WAY out of our mess. But he doesn’t force his way. He lets us choose.
My little grandson chose to take a path that appeared to be right, but actually made it more difficult and he probably ended up with a headache. But the paths we choose can end up far worse. Yet Jesus is holding out his hand to rescue us from the destruction that he already sees ahead if we continue down the wrong path.
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12
But there is good news. You can STILL make a choice that will bring life, right here, right now. It doesn’t matter where you began or how you started. It is NOT too late to make the choice to finish the race in victory and join Paul in saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
What path do you choose?