God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life. Psalm 23 (MSG)
“Let’s go for a walk.” As the word “go” is out of my mouth, Ozzy is sitting at the door. He loves to “go” regardless of destination.
As we walk, there are times when my pace is slower than Ozzy’s desired pace. I let him walk ahead of me on the leash. He’s happy to lead, usually with his nose to the ground sniffing and snorting. It’s when we come to an intersection that things get serious. There is a decision to make and someone has to make it.
Usually, I’ll give Ozzy’s leash a slight tug in the direction I intend to go. That little tug is enough and we turn the corner without losing a beat. Some intersections require a look down the street to make sure the path is clear of construction, other dogs or other obstructions. It’s fun to watch Ozzy on those instances. Ozzy doesn’t have a dominant “personality.” He’s really OK with having someone tell him what to do. In fact, without guidance, Ozzy gets a little nervous.
Ozzy will do one of two things when the cue about which way to turn is not given. Either Ozzy will begin to slow his pace and look over his shoulder to see which way I’m going or he’ll stop and wait for me to catch up and then follow me until he regains his courage to “lead” again.
Today’s passage is the very familiar 23rd Psalm; I chose an unfamiliar paraphrase because it’s easy to gloss over the familiar.
Walk humbly with your God; God’s plan for you involves the right path for your life. Your path and my path are very different; still, God has a right direction for you. It’s in stillness that you’ll find the path God has for you. God will send you in the right direction; He will walk at a pace you can match.
The goal of the Christian life is to match His pace. If you find yourself unsure of which path to take, if you are looking over your shoulder in an effort to try to guess which way God will lead you, you need to slow down.
Your loving Shepherd leads you to green pastures and still waters for a reason. Catch your breath.
Father, help me match Your pace. Teach me the benefit of walking NEXT to you and not ahead. I will wait for Your leading.