A Walk Down Pennsylvania Ave.
This evening, not too long after I got home from work, Judah (my 2 1/2 year old son) jumped up onto the couch and said, "I wanna watch toons, Daddy." It was tempting to give in, to go and sit with him on the couch and watch Peppa Pig with him curled up next to me. He and I are both adjusting to a newborn being in the house and sitting down in front of a "toon" is a nice momentary escape from that. But we needed some quality time together so we went for a walk instead.
He prefers to walk rather than ride in the stroller these days. So we meandered down the street, picking up pecans, tossing a light-up bouncy ball, looking at Christmas decorations, and so on. He would run ahead and say, "Chase me, Daddy!" and when I reached him he would say, "No, don't scare me!" He is a sweet boy.
Most of the time Judah and I were just walking, talking, and playing. But there were also other times when it would take on a more serious tone. He would run ahead too far and I'd say, "Judah! Wait for Daddy." Or he would get close to the street and I'd warn him, "Judah, back to the sidewalk!" Or he'd stick his fingers in a manhole cover and I'd have to put my hand on the back of his head and gently guide him away, "No buddy, you don't want to go in there." There were no tantrums tonight - maybe he's learning, or maybe I just caught him on a good night.
Toward the end of the walk it started to get dark outside and so he started walking by my side for comfort. Then a big dog started barking and growling at him from behind a fence, and he reached up his arms and said, "Hold you, hold you!"
As I was carrying him home it dawned on me how similar my walk with Judah is with my own walk with Christ, or with any Christian's walk with the Savior. There are times of carefree, joyful activity and conversation. There are seasons of bold exploration and learning. But there are also times when I stray. Sometimes I stray a little and need a gentle hand on the back of my head to guide me back to the path of life. I also stray big time, stubbornly putting myself in danger, chasing after foolish ideas and throwing a tantrum when God doesn't give me my way. In those times, if it weren't for the severe mercy / gracious discipline of God, I'd be a goner. And then there are times when darkness descends or an enemy approaches and I run to Christ for safety.
So while I saw much of my own sinful wandering in our walk, I also saw much of God - a fatherly, attentive God who is always shepherding his flock along the path of righteousness to make sure we make it to his home, even when it means giving his own life to ensure it. I found great peace in that.
In these ways, Judah and I were actors in a parable of Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
12/9/2016 02:46:37 pm
So beautiful David!
12/10/2016 10:36:19 am
12/11/2016 09:51:04 pm
Sweet! Great analogy.
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This blog is written by the authors of Cypress Press, meant for the creative illustration and application of God's Word.