One of the first feelings that I had while hiking the Appalachian Trail was a feeling of frustration. Seriously, it only took about fifteen minutes for me to really start to feel frustrated. I’m thinking, “I’m on vacation! I’m supposed to be relaxing and enjoying myself!” But I was frustrated.
I was frustrated because I wanted to see where the trail was leading. I wanted to look at the beautiful scenery all around me. The problem was that every time I took my focus off of my next few steps to look around, I would step on a rock and twist my ankle or I would trip on a root that was reaching up from the ground to grab me and make me fall.
Isn’t that just the way life is sometimes? We get so focused on what’s going on around us or we want to get our eyes on the end of the journey and we totally lose focus on the next step…and we fall. If you are anything like me, you want to know where life is taking you; you want to know the end before you take the first step. However, God rarely spoils a good ending by giving us all of the details. And He often asks us to go without knowing where we are going (just like Abraham).
Sometimes generals will issue marching orders that are not to be read until the army or the individuals have reached a certain location. These are known as closed orders. The one receiving the orders does not know what the orders are when they set out for their mission. They must go in faith and in courage, knowing that the one who sent them chose them for this mission because they were likely to succeed.
Nick Sisco (Missionary to Ghana, Teacher & Mentor extraordinaire) once told me that when we are called by God, He puts before us a blank contract and says, “Sign here.” But we want to know the details of the contract, “What am I agreeing to, Lord? Where are you sending me? How much am I going to have to sacrifice? How hard will it be?” But, of course, that’s not the deal, “Just sign here.”
His word is a lamp unto your feet and light unto your path. He may not show you the end, but rest assured if you are following Him, He will always show you the next step.
Please watch your step.