Pathways crisscross, signs mark the way
Danger! Go back! Turn Right! This Way!
In all these paths, is there one right choice?
They seem directionless,
Endless paths, branching this way and that
Which one to take?
I lift my eyes to the hills,
Where my help comes from.
I know where I want to go – to Zion, the City of God – but for each sign that claims to point the way, there are four others leading in opposite directions.
Which is the path?
Where is the way?
I am the way
I see Jesus, beckoning.
I look, but I cannot see his feet. Which path is he on? How do I get from here to there?
He beckons me to come, to head towards the hills., towards the City of God.
I want to follow, but how?
I want a sign.
I want a glowing footprints, holy markings that tell me this is the way, walk in it.
I want to avoid the pitfalls, the dangers, the U-Turns and the misdirection.
Indecision paralyzes me, and tears spring to my eyes at the frustration of being so close, yet seeing no way forward.
Jesus’ face softens. He comes towards me and takes me by the hand, and only then can I will my feet to move, to follow.
Off the paths.
We walk over paths, around paths, through paths and between paths. I am nervous and skittish. With each path crossing, my feet want to turn and follow the paved roads. Jesus notices, but leads onward, marking a straight course to the hills, without any acknowledgement of the paths crisscrossing the way.
The paths can be helpful, for a time, he tells me. But even the best paths can eventually lead you astray. Best just to follow me.
I struggle with this, even while holding his hand. Surely it would be better to stay on a path, even for some of the way?
I worry about hidden dangers, holes in the ground, snakes in the grass, predators in the bushes. Paths feel safe. Paths feel tended. Paths feel purposeful.
Jesus stops and looks.
Would you like to be safe?
My city is not safe, nor is the way there. Do you still want to come?
Oh, yes. More than anything!
Will you risk being not safe?
Only if I am with you, I tell him in a small voice, ashamed of my cowardice.
But he only smiles.
I’ll always be with you.
And he leads on.