When I’m hiking trails in the Rocky Mountains with my husband, there are shortcuts where people have paved their own path off the designated park trail. Sometimes park rangers have to go in and blockade those renegade trails with tree trunks or rocks. The trails are there for a reason, and the shortcuts damage the natural setting, plant growth and the wildlife. (Don’t you think if someone is bothering to hike they are the type of people that won’t mind going a little further down the trail for a bit more exercise? Maybe I’m just too logical. 🙂
I can think of a few shortcuts of our own we may take every day. Like, texting while driving, for instance. Are you tempted to grab that phone once your island drum ringtone chimes in over the radio? One hand on the steering wheel, and the other is diving into your purse or pocket for that communication device. We’ve all felt the urge to pick up the phone to see who’s trying to reach us.
Shortcuts are one way to simply step off the trail.
Do you know that every shortcut in life leads to the next? Reading a text while driving turns into texting back, with your foot on the gas pedal… (If you are tempted to text and drive, let me just say… as a daughter whose dad was hit by a reckless driver in 1981 and is still feeling the aches and pains that it caused… please do whatever you can to eliminate that temptation to be distracted while driving. Put your phone in the trunk or glove box if you have to.)
Shortcuts in our spiritual lives? Watching church online while you could actually be there, and be real. Putting off that prayer time or bible study because of the pressing things to do. Avoiding a friend who has offended you and not doing the work to forgive them.
Honestly, this blog is as much for me as it is for anyone else reading. As I preach to myself right now, I hope someone else feels the nudge from the Holy Spirit. Shortcuts just aren’t worth it. We miss out on the journey the way it was supposed to be. Do you believe God designed a trail for your life? Then why leave that trail for a shortcut?
Check out some of these passages. I call them our anti-shortcut reminders:
‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord’ –JEREMIAH 29:11-13
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. – PSALM 16:11
‘Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”’ – LUKE 9:23-25