The Clear Path
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
How often do you stand facing a brick wall and wonder how you'll ever get past it? Probably not very often. But problems in life can frequently seem like brick walls - very high and impossible to get over or around.
When I was driving home one day, I encountered a situation that made me think about this. The roads in my city have center left turn lanes in the busy parts of town, where cars wait for traffic to clear before entering the travel lanes. I had just pulled into one such lane.
Coming toward me, another driver pulled out into the same lane. We ended up face to face, blocking each other's way. The traffic going her way was all clear, and I waited for her to pull out. But she could not apparently get past the fact that I was in her way. She seemed frozen, just staring at me.
In order to get around her car, I had to use the oncoming lane. Then, in my rear mirror, I watched her immediately pull out and continue on her way. As I drove on, it occurred to me that people often spend so much time staring at a problem that they don't see a clear path away from it.
But that path is always available. In my life, this path has become clearer as I learn the lessons Christ Jesus taught. Jesus turned to God for guidance on where to go and what action to take. Even before his crucifixion, in perhaps the ultimate example of humility and obedience, Jesus said to his Father, "Not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). Jesus showed through healing, and through his resurrection, that God's leading cannot fail us.
I have often turned to a favorite citation from "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, which states (referring to the love of God), "Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way" (Pg. 454). Yes, God reveals the answers, lights up the path, points out the way, leads us there!
Many years ago I faced a sad situation in which I was unhappy with my job. I felt I was at a standstill and that the prospects for advancement were dim. I prayed earnestly to know how I should proceed.
One afternoon the thought came that I should call a good friend to see if she could help me take steps to become a teacher, something I had wanted to do but that now seemed out of reach. I quickly dismissed the idea; I'd be bothering her, and anyhow she would likely not be available during the summer.
But again and again the thought came for me to call her, until I finally did. It turned out that she, too, had been praying - for just the right person to take over a preschool class at her school. Because she had worked with me in the past, she was willing to hire me without the customary credentials. In a few weeks I was happily ensconced in my first classroom, and within three years I had earned the appropriate credentials (along with a graduate degree), all the while enjoying this new career immensely.
Now, even though I'd felt up against a wall, my answer was there to be discovered. The prayer for God's guidance had brought inspiration. And my willingness to be obedient and follow His leading had been rewarded. I was actually being directed to solutions for both my friend and me.
I'd also found a solution to a future problem, for within six months of my leaving the former job, that position was completely eliminated. It felt to me as though prayer had kept me one step ahead of the situation, directing me down the right road.
God's love always leads us away from trouble and into harmony and happiness. When faced with obstacles, what we have to do is listen for His voice and be willing to act on what we hear. Whether the guidance seems easy or requires us to look at life in new ways, we need not doubt. Answers may lie where we least expected.
You never need to feel stuck with an insurmountable problem, because the total love of God - the greatest power of all - is available to show the way over, around, and through it all.
In all thy ways
and he shall direct