One of the greatest pleasures I have found in running is how different the landscape looks on foot versus driving in a vehicle. Some of the roads that I have traveled all of my years look completely fresh when I am running their berms. It is thrilling to find new things in the middle of the familiar.
One day I had gone out for a run on my usual route. My earbuds were in and the stopwatch on my running app was clicking. My eyes were fixed straight ahead. I was out for a maintenance run; I was not seeking to explore something new.
But a small rock abruptly rolled my ankle and I had to rest on the guardrail for a moment. As I stretched it out and made sure there was no injury, I glanced down the bank and across the field as I always did when I ran this stretch of road. Then I did a double-take. Directly below me was a tidy little house, with a white fence and gate. A well-tended garden sat next to the house. Behind that was a wooden playset and a clothesline that stretched across the backyard, waving a string of colorful shirts. I wondered how I had never seen this homestead before, as it was obviously an older home and not a new construction.
I stepped back from the guardrail and had my answer. From the driving lanes, you would miss this entire scene that sat at the bottom of the steep embankment. It wasn’t a major find, yet I was amazed to see something I had never noticed on this road which I traveled almost daily my entire life. When I looked closer, I learned something new.
Our walk with God is similar. We can all look back and remember the fresh eyes with which we saw life after repenting and being saved. 2 Corinthians 5:17 describes it as “…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This is a wonderful time in a young Christian’s experience, when everything is new. How easy it is then to see the great power of the blood and the change it brings to one’s life. There are many discoveries and changes in those first months of living for God.
What happens in a Christian’s experience in the following years depends upon their desire and choices. We can let spiritual things become dull if we fail to see and hear what God is showing us. We can maintain, but never grow. We can decide the direction of our path without considering God’s plan for us, His vessels. We can determine in our mind who the preached message is for and miss our own portion. We can think ahead, fretting about what is coming our way, yet never praying for God’s intervention. All the while, we claim to be walking with the Lord. We miss so much when we have nothing more than a “drive-by” experience.
We do not serve a one-dimensional God. His every facet ties together wonderfully, line upon line. Each part of His word serves an important purpose. No matter the changes of our lives, it remains constant and necessary. Yet there are undiscovered blessings laying in its pages. How thrilling for the child of God to find even the worn pages of their Bible fresh and relevant. Many times I have read a familiar scripture as though I was reading it for the first time. Some days, I read a scripture that I am sure I have never read before or rediscover a passage that saw me through past difficulties. What treasures they are to me. God promised to reveal truth to the redeemed who seek it.
The next few years will have its challenges, both old and new. Seek to get deeper in God’s Word, to both root yourself further in His truth and to find excitement in it. Don’t ask for the paths to change, ask God to help you see what you have been missing, through spiritual eyes! “…ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
We are privileged to sit under true gospel preaching each week; messages that are deeper than just words on the page. Our pastor is skilled in tying together those scriptures that lay out the foundations of faith, and those that add vivid color to the Word. The messages are alive, not a dead letter!
Don’t be satisfied with a drive-by experience. Get out on foot. Exert some spiritual sweat to find undiscovered gems. When you find them, tuck them away in your heart when you need them. Share their beauty with others around you. Go explore the paths of truth and enjoy all the hidden riches God has for you.
~ R. Smith