In My Father’s Footsteps

Random fact #1: I have a horrible sense of direction. I’ve gotten turned around in my own house before, and the grocery store can become a positive labyrinth. I can easily instruct someone how to simply walk into Mordor, but trying to explain how to get to the nearest Walmart? A quest of epic proportions.

Random fact #2: I love to hunt. I eagerly await November every year, when I can bring out my gun and go tramping through the fallen leaves to one of the many deer stands available to my family. I don’t even have to shoot anything to enjoy myself; there’s nothing quite so relaxing as sitting in a deer stand and hearing nothing but nature (and the hum of the interstate, but who’s counting?).

But there is a mild issue with that love of hunting. Namely, I have to get to a stand. And with my unequivocal talent of losing track of my position, that could quickly become a problem. After all, when you’re in the woods for longer than a minute, all the trees start to look the same… They say moss grows on the north side of trees, but which direction did I even come from? And is it just me, or does that rock have an evil twin?

Needless to say, navigating through the woods isn’t something I’d volunteer myself for. But thankfully, I don’t have to give up hunting just because I couldn’t find my way home after dark. Because I never go alone. Whenever I go traipsing through the woods, I’m following someone who knows exactly where he’s going. I’m walking directly in my father’s footsteps.

My dad knows exactly where he’s going in the woods. He helped make most of those trails, and he’s walked them more times than I can count. Even in the dark, he can find his way home. We can take some obscure path that takes us past trees I never knew existed, and we’ll still end up right where we needed to be. When I’m following my dad, I’m never worried about where we’re going. It’s Dad’s job to get us home safely; my job is just to step where he steps.

I really can’t think of a better picture of what it’s like to follow God. When He calls us to Himself, we start off an incredible journey with Him, one that will eventually lead us home. We don’t really know where we’re going; all God says is “Follow Me, and I will bring you to a good place.” So we go after Him, following Him with blind faith into places we never knew existed before. It can get scary. When we start looking around at where we are and realize we have no idea where we are, it’s easy to panic. We can start to wonder what’s going through God’s mind, if He actually does know what He’s doing.

But why are we worrying? Just like it’s not my job to get myself home from the deer stand, it’s not our job to reach the places God has promised us. That’s God’s responsibility. He’s taking a path that He knows will prove the best, and He asks us to trust Him and follow Him on it, even though we don’t know where in the world we’re going. But we don’t need to know. We just need to trust that God does. And when we do, we can walk boldly in His footsteps, confident that He’s taking us by exactly the right path.

Daddy’s never failed to get me home before. How much more will God, Who is the perfect Father of us all, bring us home by a straight path.

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