“Pa, let’s go” implores my beautiful and impatient granddaughter. It seems I take much more time to get ready for a walk than she does. This little free spirit wants to see more of this big beautiful world and I am holding her back. Looking down and smiling into those big beautiful eyes, I say, “Ok. Where are we going?” She surveys the landscape even as she moves her feet forward. “Let’s go over there”, as she looks down the paved road in the camping trailer park. We walk up the steps to the bathroom then back down again. We walk very closely to the drainage ditch in order to look at and a bit into the concrete pipe. We talk along the woods edge as all the while she pulls me along. I follow her lead unless she starts down a road that would take too long, is the park rangers private drive, or she gets too close for comfort to the drainage pipe that is several feet below us. In those moments I pull her soft little hand in a different direction and say, “Let’s go look at that”. There is occasional resistance and an even rarer insistence on grandpa’s part that we are NOT going where she wants. After a few moments the tension in the air and between our hands dissipates as she surrenders and says, “O-kay.”
Who is walking who? Was she in control when she was leading or was I leading from the second chair. Perhaps this is God’s picture of His walk with us. He extends his hand. If we take it, He smiles and asks, “Where do you want to go?” Because He loves us with an everlasting love, He wants to help us realize our hopes and dreams. “Let’s go,” He says. Who enjoys life’s journey more? His redirection may not be noticed or it may be resisted. Unlike the parent of a child, the heavenly Father will allow us to turn loose of His hand and go a dangerous direction if we stubbornly insist on it.
As we mature in Christ the realization becomes stronger that the wisest course of action is to seek God’s plan for our lives. After all, He is All Wise and Ever Loving. The writer of Psalms experienced what we can, too. “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” He leads. Will we follow? He teaches what is true, right, good, pleasing, and perfect. Will we agree or argue?
This is a good time of year to recognize I was ugly with God and should apologize. We call that repentance. It clears the air, opens dialogue, and reestablishes healthy relationship. Repentance is choosing to go a different direction, a better direction, God’s direction. Repentance from the heart involves the will, the mind and the emotions. It prepares the way to celebrate Easter mightily.
You choose. Who leads?