My husband often takes the scenic route.
It may take longer. That does not make a difference to him when there is wild beauty to be found or when he has a hunch that an adventure awaits or let’s be honest, when he takes a wrong turn and we don’t have a clue where we are headed or where we will end up.
Maybe it’s the back country roads that wind through the trees with lake view surprises, old barns and swinging bridges along the way.
Or a steep road heading further up the mountain to one more overlook area where you can view the world over the treetops. Where roads look tiny like toy cars are zooming along their pavement. You may see elk, goats or even a moose along the way – we have. “It’s worth it,” my husband promises and he’s usually right!
Or maybe it’s the long road with lots of traffic, slow speed limits and countless stop lights. Yet those annoyances pale in comparison to the ocean view on the right. When there is beauty to behold we can endure the things that would normally make us edgy and frustrated.
My husband takes on adventure like it’s in his bones to explore, find beauty and not have a care. I think it is in his bones and yours and mine too. For some of us it’s buried a little deeper and we have to let go of our sense of control or the fear of not knowing what is happening next to enjoy the ride.
“You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest” (Psalm 139:3).
Let this resonate in the depths of your soul. I don’t know your view or the path you are journeying on, but I promise you there is always beauty to be found! God charts our path, he’s there before we arrive, therefore beauty awaits us.
On the steep, winding roads up to the top of the Rocky Mountains, my hand gripped the car door handle as my husband drove. I often closed my eyes when I wasn’t anxiously looking over the cliff on one side and up the Rocky Mountain walls on the other side. When I kept my eyes on the road, looking ahead there was peace and an amazing view of the world below.
My heart may have been racing and it didn’t help when my husband would purposely swerve a little just to make me shriek. In spite of all that, the view was majestic.
Our life feels a little like it’s imitating those adventurous, winding mountain roads about now. We see the beauty and freedom of trusting in the God that never fails, yet the cliff and falling off the mountain is very real too.
Now, there are more days than not that we strongly sense His presence, His strength, and His provision. On those days we focus on the beauty while depending on a strength that is not our own. And there are other days, the reality of falling off the cliff or wrecking into the mountainside overtakes us. Where our vision rest, determines our perspective.
Looking straight down causes all the fear to rise. Looking straight up gives us a false sense of confidence. Keeping our eyes on the road, following the path set before us, following the God who is ordering our steps – keeps us grounded.
When our eyes are on the road we see the signs alerting us that the road curves here, that there is a resting place over there and that it narrows over here. When it’s scary and uncertain, you keep going and you keep your eyes on the road and don’t forget to take in the beauty along the way as you look ahead. No matter the path, there is always beauty to be found.
“Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head” (Psalm 139:3-5). He’s got me and he’s got you, my friend.
“I don’t have to know where things are going; I don’t have to know the destination; I just have to trust the path.” from “Looking for Lovely” by Annie F. Downs
Thank you, Annie, for reminding us to trust the path and to keep our eyes open to look for lovely, the beauty that is there to be found along the way.
I believe God is teaching me for sure and maybe you too, a few things we should ALWAYS be on the lookout for. We have to train our eyes to bypass the defaults that come easy. We can all see the mountain walls and cliffs and problems; they are obvious and easy to stare at. Keeping our focus there, destroys our vision of hope for tomorrow.
We must look for the beauty, to find the joy, so that we can delight ourselves in the Lord – even when the path is difficult. “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8-10).
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4).
“A few years ago, I uttered a frustrated prayer in my car. “God, why does the enemy seem so determined to destroy my joy?” And it felt like I heard a whisper within my heart in response: “He’s not really after your joy. He’s after your strength.”
Immediately I thought of Nehemiah 8: 10: “The joy of the LORD is your strength.” Ah, yes, now it made sense. The enemy of my soul wasn’t simply out to make me have a bad day. Instead, he was trying to do something far more sinister: make me ineffective in the kingdom. Weaken my faith. Quiet my voice. Make sure I cower in fear rather than stand in holy confidence.” from “Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely” by Holley Gerth
If the path you’re on is a bit shaky. If you are unsure of where you are headed, welcome to the scenic route! I believe God has beauty for each of us to be found in unlikely places, that you and I would most likely not choose for ourselves. Relax, it’s an adventure and God has charted your path. He’s got you and he’s not letting you go!
I’m so thankful for this journey with you my friend. I can’t imagine going through the boot camp of life without you. I’m cheering you on today! Keep your eyes on the road, keep looking ahead and let’s never stop looking for beauty and seeing our story as an adventure!
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know if this spoke to you or if I can pray for you. I’d love to chat with you in the comments. Join me there!
In this with you!
If this post spoke to you, I believe you will enjoy this one too, Here’s A Happy For You.
Disclosure: These photos were taken back in 2009 when my children were much younger. There are affiliate links in this post that support the Faith Caffeine Blog at no additional cost to you.