Goose Tracks

There they were, footprints scribed in soft goo, now hardened into the edge of the path. While I imagine they led to a private nesting place, only a few tracks gave a hint of the destination.

For several days I hadn’t walked that path. The winter’s snow scraping had bladed much of the gravel into the ditch. Muck and slime had sucked my feet down even as I tried to tip-toe on the firmest tire-tracks. Since there were better routes, I avoided this stretch.

But the goose had ventured there, perhaps because we humans left the space vacant.

Despite the difficulty, the goose chose this place. Those tracks on the side of the road were not made when the ground was hard and the going was easy. The greasy ground not only held the imprint, but clung to the webbed foot, requiring extra force to take the next step.

I prefer the easy path, without obstacles or mire to hold me back. I want my life to be like Job BEFORE his faith was tested: a healthy and happy family, prosperous and fulfilling work, faith in a God who supplies countless blessings.

But what lesson do I learn from these goose tracks and Job? Sometimes the path is difficult and even disgusting. Taking the next step isn’t going to be easy.

But look at Job’s testimony.

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I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way. I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it.

Job 23:11-12 (The Message)

Slowly, reluctantly, I’m learning that the messy road is at times the path God has for me. He provides the strength to pick up my foot from the clinging clay and venture deeper.  Sometimes I need to be away from the place that everyone else is traveling.

As I draw my foot out and up, I pause. I listen. That mucky, yucky place is where I learn to treasure HIS GIFT to me.

And perhaps, the print of my journey will guide and encourage someone.

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