Do you remember how fun it is to slide down a playground slide? It’s amazing how fast you can go on something so short. But have you ever tried to stop in the middle of the slide? You’ve climbed up the ladder, stretched your legs out in front of you and pushed off when you suddenly see there’s a puddle of rain water at the bottom of the slide. Trying to avoid a wet bottom, you immediately grab the sides of the slide and dig in your feet trying to stop but the momentum has begun. Stopping in the middle of the slide can be done, but it’s not easy. Sometimes it might seem easier to just slide on through- wet bottom and all.
Too often the decisions I’ve made in life feel like I am cruising down a slide destined to hit the bottom, come what may. When the decision I’ve made pleases God, then the ride down the slide is delightful. Psalms 119:35 says “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.” In this verse “delight” means “to be pleased with.” That means when you get to the bottom of the slide, you are pleased with the decision you have made.
But what about those other slides? You know, the slides you decided to go down either without considering what the Lord wants you to do OR knowing the Lord does not want you to do it and you do it anyway. If you’re like me, it’s tempting to ignore, dispute or disobey a prompting from the Lord that’s opposite of a path I am on. These slides easily end up with results sometimes much worse than a wet bottom. It’s one thing to listen to the direction of the Lord at the top of the slide, it’s much harder to follow Him when you’re half way down and He tells you to “STOP”.
Maybe halfway down your slide, you understand the Lord’s saying something like:
“Stop yelling at your kids.”
“Go back and work on your marriage.”
“Tell your parents they’re forgiven.”
“Stop mistreating your body.”
“Get rid of the alcohol and stuff.”
“Find new friends.”
“Look for a new job.”
“Sell that thing you love.”
The truth is that none of these new paths from the Lord sound “delightful” like in the verse. They sound difficult and in some cases even overwhelming and frightening. So where’s the “delight”? When will I be pleased with changing my path and going in the direction the Lord is guiding me? ANSWER: When you get off the old path. The delight does not come until you are off your path and on the path the Lord has directed you on.
Changing your path to go the direction the Lord finds pleasing is an act of faith. Do you believe that following the commands of the Lord will bring you delight? Then grab hold tight to the sides of that dangerous slide you’re on. Haul yourself back to the top and choose the path of the Lord. Trust me. You’ll find His ride delightful!