The Path to Follow

” . . . the path they should follow.”

“Those who have reverence for the Lord will learn from him the path they should follow.”

(Psalm 25:1)

I’ve seen many paths, but none more inviting than this one.  The colors are so varied and vibrant that it almost looks as though the path should be paved with yellow bricks.  I took this photo a few years ago in the Olympic National Park near Seattle, Washington.  The path spoke to me as I contemplated this Ash Wednesday and the beginning of our journey through the season of Lent.

Here’s an interesting question for Lent.   How do you decide the path you’re to follow?  On any given day we’re presented with various decisions, opportunities, choices – paths.  Sometimes we get to the end of a path and feel overjoyed to discover great rewards for our efforts.  Other times we get to the end of a path only to feel pain, disappointment, or shame.  Sometimes we can start down a path, discover we’ve picked the wrong path, and turn around before we suffer too much.  Other paths allow no u-turns.  Once we start down them, we’re doomed to follow them to the end, enduring all the misery along the way.

This Lent I want to invite us to focus not only on our poor choices of paths and need for forgiveness and restoration, but also, our need to choose better paths, and how we choose the paths we follow in the first place.  Often we get to the end of a poorly chosen path and shake our heads in disbelief, wondering, “How in the world did I ever get in this mess?”  The whole dilemma seems such a mystery, yet those around us might say that the outcome was pretty easy to predict given the path that we chose.  Why didn’t I see it coming?

The psalmist says that, Those who have reverence for the Lord will learn from him the path they should follow.”  In other words, there are disciplines we can follow that will help us choose better paths.  Time spent in prayer, worship, and study with God leads the list, followed by many other healthy disciplines.  Maybe it’s a no-brainer to say that how we choose the right path makes a big difference in the outcome, but Lent seems like a good time to call to our attention the need to focus on how we make decisions about which paths to follow.  I pray that God will keep me busy in spiritual disciplines that will help me choose the paths God has in mind for me and others.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”


~ by revgenelson on February 10, 2016.

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