"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Way

My husband and I took a little road trip on Saturday. He had business which to attend and I had a mission. When one normally thinks of a business trip, one might imagine nice khakis and a dress shirt for the man and a cute sweater and nice slacks for the woman. But I'm married to a forester and this was my attire.
The walking stick was for picture purposes only. It was HIS stick.

He assured me the trip to the water was only about as far as our house to the neighbor's across the street. Which isn't far. What he forgot to mention was what we'd be walking through to get there.
Yes, that's my dear husband blazing the trail for me. And he kept assuring me there WAS a trail. Now tell me, do YOU see a trail???

He also gave me some pointers. Like "Try not to breathe." Why?
Meet Mr. Ragweed. And this was a smaller bush! The only reason I took this picture is because it was actually in a clearing and I thought it looked pretty. The rest of the journey, I was actually pushing it out of my way just to get through. (If you look closely in the previous snapshot, you can see its bounty.)

Another time he suggested I keep my eyes looking up because I might see a deer. A deer? I'm sorry, but I was going to have to wait and just hope one crossed the road while we were in the truck on the way out. At the present, I was too concerned with snakes and briars. Speaking of which, one should never wear expensive jeans to the woods -- nor new turtleneck sweaters. While he had donned Carharts, I had gone for "cute." And cute doesn't cut it in the thicket. Forgive me if I don't mention the blood. I had really hoped not to draw any, but those briars were unforgiving.

I'm a novice rock collector, and at one point in our trek, we came across these small boulders. I felt it best not to ask if I could take them home with me. If we had found a puppy, there wouldn't have been any question. He would have just followed us back to the truck. These babies would have had to be toted.

Finally, we came upon a clearing and our destination could be seen in the distance!
Yes! I had run the race! I had fought the good fight! I had won the prize! "But wait. Why are we turning? The water is in that direction and isn't the water our purpose and intent?"

"Yes, but we can't get down at that point. The hill is too steep. We have to go over there where the footing is better," he said, pointing in the distance. And thus, we continued our journey.

But finally, we made it, and Lord, have mercy, right there where we came out on the landing, my soul had found a resting place!
And so my husband did what he came to do ... survey;
and I did what I came to do ... find mussel shells.
We walked the shoreline filling my bag with shells and acorns, and all too quickly, it was time to go. The only difference now was that we'd be walking UP hill instead of down. And so we did.
My husband pointed out this tree to me saying, "If I didn't know better, I'd think that was one hellacious hog that did that."
HOG??? I've got to ward off snakes, briars, and now wild hogs? But noticing the bulge in my eyes, he quickly and wisely retorted, "Or just a massive deer."

I certainly didn't remember walking through this burn pile earlier...
It's because we didn't. We had taken a different route "home." And, yes, we walked right through it, being very careful because "the footing isn't sure."

And then, lo and behold, I saw it! Rising in the distance like a mirage in the desert...
The truck! This walk from "our house to the neighbor's" had taken almost 3o minutes, my "cute" had worn off and the very chilly weather had turned near hot under all those layers. But I had done it and the victory lap was ready to be taken.

As I was bending over unlacing my boots, my dear man of some 31+ years said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm taking off my boots and putting on my tennis shoes."

"But we're not through. This is just the first track. There's another one."

I slowly raised myself and turned around. Eye-balling him, I said, "You ARE kidding, aren't you?" No, I'm afraid he wasn't....

The truth of the story is this: while I was following my husband through that dense thicket, I thought how fortunate I was that I didn't have to be afraid. Yes, I kid about snakes and hogs, but the walking stick he carried was a ready-made weapon and he could and would wield it in a heartbeat to anything or anyone who he perceived as a threat. And maybe I watch too much NCIS, but I also was made acutely aware that day that I never need to be afraid when I'm in his presence in a desolate place, because he would never physically harm me or leave me. But I think what struck me the most on this particular morning turned early afternoon was the way we moved through the brush. Not once did I know where I was or in what direction I was moving. My husband was my only way in and he was my only way out. Without him, I would have been utterly and hopelessly lost. But I was completely confident in him.

For thousands of years, people searched for God, yet were never able to come close enough to truly know Him. And then one day, the Word of God -- His very thought -- became flesh. And in the midst of our searching and our doubts and our fears and our just plain "lost-ness," we hear Him say, "I am the Way." He didn't say, "I am a way." Nor did He say, "I'll show you the way." He didn't hand us a creed as a roadmap, nor did He did say He had the answer. No, He simply said, "I am the Way," and He meant it. In a world where so many ways beckon and so many voices clamor for our attention and allegiance, I'm grateful for a Savior who is THE Way; One who will never harm me nor lead me astray. And One who will get me safely home to my Father.

Just an ordinary moment...


Julie said...

Love it - and you and your husband!! I laughed through the first part ...

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Nancy. I was moved and very touched by this blog. He is indeed the ONLY Way. And I am thankful beyond words for the amazing gift of His life for us.
Liz A.

Melanie said...

LOVE it! Love the post and the devotional thought! You are SO right on.

By the way, you are now officially "THE WOMAN"! I am impressed! And the "try not to breathe comment had me laughing OUT LOUD!"


Joey said...

This was wonderful! Thank you, for I too would have totally lost, as I would be without God.

God bless you.

Lilian Fianco said...

Pode ter sido exausiva tua viagem, porém muito lindas são as paisagens!

barco a vela said...

Sou tua seguidora, agora. Um abraço, Lilian