A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days away from the office on a leadership development excursion. One of our facilitators was also a river guide and shared a story with us that spoke volumes to me spiritually. I’d asked God for revelation through the sessions and He certainly delivered.
For a particular rafting trip, our facilitator was a trip leader on one raft while other guides followed on other rafts. At one of the diverging paths in the river, one of the guides chose to go a different way. At the end of the trip my facilitator asked the guide why he’d gone that way. The guide defended himself by explaining that it was the path they usually took and that it had better whitewater. My facilitator told him, “I’m not upset about the way you went; I’m upset you didn’t follow me. I need to know that I can trust you.”
That phrase said so much for me. I think we struggle to know if we are choosing the “right” thing or the “best” thing. But let’s face it, you and I don’t have the omniscient wisdom to really know what those things are. But God does. He doesn’t ask us to know everything, but He does ask us to follow Him – to trust Him. I think if we focused less on the worry of choosing the wrong paths in life and more on following His lead, we’d be better off.
To illustrate just that, the facilitator later told the guide that he had someone in his raft that was a health risk and asked where the guide would have been if he’d needed his assistance. The guide said he didn’t know; that it might have changed his decision. But as the facilitator told him, it wasn’t for him to know. His job was to follow.
The other part that grabbed me was the thought that following God is evidence that He can trust me. I know the scriptures about being trusted with big things only after handling small things well. But I don’t know that I’ve ever thought specifically about what it says to God when I willingly follow Him. That He can trust me. To do what He says; to follow where He leads; to fulfill the role He’s created for me.
It’s so hard though, isn’t it? To not say, “I know this is a good path. I like the way this path looks. He’ll be ok if I go this way.” And to not follow the way He’s leading us to go. Thank God for His grace and redeeming power over those times I’ve chosen to go my own way. But I want to follow Him, to show myself trustworthy with the things He wants for and of me. His way is the best way, the wisest way. Even when it doesn’t feel so great, even when it downright hurts, I pray that God gives me the strength to surrender to His leadership.
“It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.”- Deuteronomy 13:4