Keep Looking at the Map – Elaine Marie Cooper
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 NIV
I was lost. Walking down the rank-smelling hallway, I knew I’d taken the wrong turn.
It was my last day of conference and I was about to listen to the final speaker. I desperately wanted to get there.
After four days of maneuvering around the winding turns and numerous stairways of the large conference grounds, I’d become too comfortable with my own abilities to find my way. Confident that I could navigate my steps to the large auditorium without checking my map, I had boldly and foolishly taken a new route—without consulting the directions.
I was in a darkened, odorous hallway, without any fellow attendees anywhere. I fought back panic.
Where am I?
It only took minutes for me to reach out to my prayer-partner, Jesus.
Help me find my way.
I got the distinct impression He’d been waiting for me to ask the entire time.
Perspiration oozed in the growing heat of the day, but I didn’t care. At this point, worrying about damp clothing was secondary to finding my way back—locating the room where hundreds were gathered to sing praise and listen to words of encouragement.
With the Lord’s help, and the directions of a sweet lady I found along the way, I traversed my way to the auditorium. I was back on track.
Being lost in a maze of confusion reminded me how often I depend on my own resources that usually lead me astray. It’s easy to be lured by what life offers. Even after years of walking with the Lord, I’d let down my guard and followed a path of darkness wrapped in enticing adornment. My “short cut” at the conference grounds appeared to be so much better … so promising and without complication. If only I had checked the map.
God offers us a map. He lays it out plain and simple for us to follow even knowing we’ll search for a better way. Our way. When I fail to follow his map, His Word, I find myself lost every time and standing in the foul-smelling hallway of sin.
The next time you feel inclined to go your own way … don’t. Stick to His word.
Lord, keep me on track, following the pathway of Your guidelines and truths. Keep my eyes on the trail that leads to a walk of holiness with You.
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Elaine Marie Cooper grew up in Massachusetts but now lives in the Midwest. Her debut historical novel, The Road to Deer Run, received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival. Book 2 of the Deer Run Saga, The Promise of Deer Run, was the winner in the Romance category at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival and is a finalist in Religious Fiction in ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year contest. Her third book in the Deer Run Saga, The Legacy of Deer Run, released in May, 2012. Cooper is an award-winning newspaper freelance writer, and has written for magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens and Life: Beautiful. She is also a contributor to the inspirational book, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson.