“I LOVE apple cider!” I squealed excitedly as my dad unpack apple cider vinegar from the grocery bag. “Can I have some?” “No,” my dad chuckled, “you won’t like this. It will burn your throat.” But, at age 7, I insisted I knew best. I knew what apple cider looked like and I knew I liked it. I wanted some! So, I continued to beg. “Wait, honey,” dad said, “listen to me. This is different. This is vinegar.” But, I wouldn’t wait. I didn’t listen. I just kept asking. What else could my dad do? He took out a spoon and gave me some. Coughing, choking and gasping for air…..I learned the difference between apple cider and apple cider vinegar.
It’s easy to think I know best. I notice something that needs to be done and I rush in. If no one else will do it, I figure I should! I grab for quick solutions. I over-commit myself. I jump in to fix something that’s not my responsibility. And before you know it, I’ve made a mess of things and I’ve taken on more than I can handle. I didn’t wait, I didn’t listen…. and once again, I’m choking on a spoonful of apple cider vinegar.
Remember Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd…”? In verses 2 and 3 of this Psalm it says: “He leads me beside the still waters…….He leads me in paths of righteousness…”
HE LEADS ME. It doesn’t say, “Hey, kid, you’re on your own.” God doesn’t wish me luck and tell me to figure it out myself. God…leads…me. Where? To a frantic, way-too-busy lifestyle? No! He is leading to still, peaceful waters and to paths that are right.
This means that there is a very precious moment of time…that split second…that is wedged in… just before I make a decision about what I’m going to SAY or what I’m going to DO. That moment is critical. In that moment, I have two doors in front of me. A choice will be made. Door #1 – MY WAY: I will walk through (or more likely rush through) this door whenever I make a decision based on my own understanding. This door leads to exciting places like stress, sleeplessness and frustration.
Or I can choose Door #2 – THE FOLLOWER’S WAY: I walk through this door the moment I remind myself that I am a follower and I need guidance. In that quick, silent moment as I hand my decision to God and ask Him to lead me, something changes. I’m reminded I’m not alone and I don’t have to jump into a decision. I can wait and I can listen. I can go step by step…purposefully….letting God’s timing happen. Psalm 23 tells me that as I walk down this path, I just might hear the sound of a gentle stream up ahead.
Sue is the author of Grandma Sue’s Bible Adventures in Rhyme, and has her own blog.
Newest book: Lions, Bullies and Prayers!
available at: www.grandma-sue.com