Thursday Thought - Follow Your Guide

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Thursday Thought - Follow Your Guide

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
— 1 Corinthians 10:31

Thursday Thoughts

Shortly after I graduated college and my sister-in-law graduated high school, we decided to take a road trip together. 2 Girls, 7 states, one tent, and a trusty Honda Accord we nicknamed Francis took off on a weeklong trek.

One of our early stops was Arch’s National Park in Utah. It was beautiful, almost like walking on the face of Mars, but much hotter. The dashboard read 108 degrees when we pulled into the parking lot! “It’s dry heat; that’s nothing for us mid-westerners who are used to the humidity of Iowa,” we thought.

We pulled up to the entrance of Devil’s Garden and decided to take the 4-mile trail. We got about 20 minutes into the hike and realized we really didn’t need to follow the map because there was a big group of people head of us showing us the path.

Soon the group ahead of us turned off to take a longer route that would get them to a closer view point of one of the arches. Wanting to stick with our 4-mile route we plodded forward on (what we thought was) the main trail. After about another 45 minutes, we realized we hadn’t seen a trail marker in well over a mile. In fact, when we pulled out our map, NOTHING matched. In horror we began to back track, trying to find our way. We spotted an Arch we recognized up ahead and took a short cut – only to realize it was a different arch and we were VERY lost. With the heat continuing to rise and all sense of direction turned around, we felt hopeless. We eventually stumbled into some experienced hikers who brough us back to the appropriate trail.

The experienced hiker told us that the first group we followed turned off the regular trail and followed a dried-up creek bed. Being that Devil’s Garden is quite literally the dessert, a dried-up creek bed & a trail look very similar. Our 4-mile hike turned into a 11-mile death march.

Lost in arches
Image taken about 7 miles into our 4 (turned 11) mile hike.

Thankfully God sent us some experienced hikers that afternoon to provide us with directions back to the trail head, but that experience always reminds me of the importance of not just following the crowd.

So often in this world it is easy to get swept up in the idea that “If everyone is doing it, it must be ok”. But following the crowd can get you lost – Literally! As Christians we need to make sure we are following our guide for life – The Bible. If we take our eyes off scriptures' teaching and follow the crowd, it is easy to get lost in the ways of the world.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105

“I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” – Proverbs 4:11

“You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.” – Psalm 73:24

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7: 13-14

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers” – Psalm 1:1