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Amazing God

The Life Less Traveled

October 30, 2013
Last week, I took my daughters to one of those fancy pumpkin patches that's half-family farm and half-Disneyland. It had a petting zoo, haunted house, hayride and even a couple of corn mazes. I love corn mazes, so I refused to allow anyone to get their pumpkins until we went exploring. Just to make it interesting, I let my girls take turns choosing which way to go.

We had a blast for the first five minutes or so. This maze was significantly larger than the one we had at our old pumpkin patch.†We had plenty of places to make wrong turns and get completely lost, which is, of course, the whole point of going into a maze.

My 7-year-old loved it, but my 5-year-old grew anxious fast.†The longer we spent in the maze, the tighter she squeezed my hand. Her sister tried to get her to run off ahead with her, but she refused to leave my side.†I tried to help her save face and said, "She just wants to stick with her dad because she's afraid she'll lose me."

Kate, with a little panic in her voice, said, "No, I'm afraid I'll lose me!"

I know what she means. In the maze of life, it's easy to lose ourselves.†Every day we're faced with a gazillion choices, most of which aren't clearly labeled as right or wrong. Navigating this complicated world can be overwhelming and, at times, downright scary. Sometimes we end up taking paths that lead us to places we never thought we'd go.

That's why we all need a heavenly Dad who can hold our hand and keep us from getting lost.†It's like the songwriter David once wrote, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.†For you are with me. (Psalm 23:4)

I noticed when choosing directions my girls typically either followed the people in front of us or took the widest, most well-worn path. That's how we got lost.

As a grown-up, I had a better sense of direction. I knew which way we had to go, but it meant taking a tiny rabbit trail that no one thought was a good idea until it led us right out of the maze.

In the same way, as we follow God, sometimes He'll take us down paths that don't make much sense at the time, but, if we trust Him and cling to His hand, we'll eventually find our way.

Jason Byerly, a 1990 graduate of Crawford County Junior-Senior High School, is the children's pastor at Southland Christian Church near Lexington, Ky. He and his wife have two daughters. For more, visit www.jasonbyerly.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/jasondbyerly.

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