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A Map For Our Spiritual Journey
Maps. There are all sorts of maps, each with a different purpose. There are maps focusing on major roads and highways, geopolitical boundaries, topography, land uses, soil types for agricultural suitability, bikeways and hiking trails, and so on.
Most of us have maybe become most accustom to maps to instruct us the best way to travel from one place to another. Or at least give us a good idea, based on crossroads and options.
But what about a ‘map’ to help us in our spiritual life, which too is a journey? We need to know where we are, who we are, and where we hope to travel.
We, each one, is sinful by nature, from birth. Each one of us has our own foibles, weaknesses, addictions. And each one hopes to be on a journey to a life of abundance described by the Lord Jesus Himself.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Galatians 5:22-23
To have a map for such a journey!
A couple of decades ago, there was a very popular and meaningful movie, The Horse Whisperer, based on a 1995 novel written by Nicholas Evans. Directed by Robert Redford, a memorable scene from the movie paints a clear image of such a map, a map for our spiritual journey.
Set in contemporary times, a young girl living in Connecticut named Grace, maybe 11 or 12, is involved in a horrific accident. Both she and her beloved horse are very badly injured as well as traumatized.
Annie, Grace’s workaholic mom is distraught beyond words. Grace has a permanent injury and the vet recommends putting Pilgrim down. Annie, the mom, does extensive research, and comes upon the name of a Montana rancher with great renown in ministering to traumatized horses.
Annie calls the horse whisperer, Tom Booker, who declines her request to come to the east coast to examine Pilgrim. Not one to be denied, Annie drives unannounced and uninvited, to Montana, with Grace, with Pilgrim, and finally finds Booker’s ranch.
Upon arrival, Annie introduces herself to Booker, and declares ‘this place is HARD to find; there are NO signs!’ Booker responds ‘Oh there are plenty of signs! Just not many the written kind’
Our ‘map’ for our spiritual journey may not be the written kind! Consider –
Whether you look to the right or to the left, you shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘go THIS way!’ Isaiah 30:21
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalms 32:8
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Matthew 7:13
But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil. Proverbs 1:33
A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18
If this seems mysterious to you - how to go about a spiritual journey without a written map. Maybe, in a moment of repentance and humility, find a quiet place, alone. Then hit your knees. Shut your eyes. lower your head. And whisper to Him –
‘Here I am; send me!’
Then start walking!
Li shmo’ a bey’ kolo ulehdovkah-bo
[listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him]
Ah, there are plenty of signs! Just not many of them are the written kind!