Near to God -- Where you want to be. Where you want to stay. By Debra Torres
The concrete sidewalk paths that wound around our housing development were perfect for a mother with small children.
There, my young boys could ride their big wheel, go puddle jumping and walk to a small wooden bridge where we used to feed the ducks and their ducklings in the water below.
All this while staying clear of any vehicles.
There was one path, however that led to a busy side street where cars would whip around a curve unexpectantly. And it was this path that we took once a week in order to trek over to our local library’s story time.
At that time in my life, I usually had one or two in the stroller and a few walking next to me, so it was important to find just the right break in traffic where we could all get across safely.
One thing I would say to my boys as they got in formation behind me was: “Remember to be like the ducks!”
You can probably picture us crossing: Me in front pushing the stroller and two or three boys behind trying to keep a tight line.
Just like a mama duck and her brood.
This image came to my mind today as I was thinking about my now teen boys as they go off in different directions each day.
Sometimes I wish I could stop the clock and say, “Okay you guys. Don’t forget to be like the ducks!” Then I would watch them line up behind me where I could make sure they stay on just the right path.
You and I both know that’s not going to happen, right? It doesn’t even happen with baby ducklings does it? Just like our kids, they get bigger, stretch their wings and fly.
Good thing there is something greater than a parent or grandparent’s warnings that can help our kids stay on the path.
It’s God’s Word.
Today in church our pastor was talking about the calling of Joshua as he approached the city of Jericho and all that lay beyond.
Joshua had a huge call on his life to succeed Moses and lead God’s people into the Promise Land.
And it’s interesting that God says its his Word that will help keep them all in line.
He says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” Joshua 1:8.
And I like what God also tells Joshua, “… be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go” Joshua 1:7.
And I know it’s just what we all need to help us stick close to God.
I’ve gotten in the habit of reading my Bible each morning as I eat my breakfast, and often I’m prompted to make sure I read it where other people in my family can see me.
I want them to know that it’s important to me that I stick close to God’s path. And I can remind them to read their own Bibles every day, but I figure that quietly showing them might make a bigger impact.
This morning, as my daughter and I were having our breakfast, I decided to read a chapter of the Psalms out loud to her. She listened and we talked about King David a little and then she disappeared.
A little while later she came in the room carrying her own “easy-to-read” devotional book. “Can I read something to you now?” she said.
It was a blessing to listen to her as she read her morning devotion to me, including its Bible verse and prayer.
Sticking close to God can be a slippery slope if we try to go it alone. God’s Word helps us stay on the right path, keeping us in line – just like the ducks.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
2 Timothy 3:16-17New English Translation
16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
Romans 15:4New King James Version
4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.