Where does the will of God fit in your life? Do you ask for His direction or just wake up in the morning and decide how you’re going to live? Perhaps you just sort of walk along the same tracks every day. As long as you have what you think you need, you don’t really give God a whole lot of thought. But God desires that we live a certain way, and His will is our guide.
—Charles F. Stanley, “The Will of God in Your Life”
One of the perks of living in north Georgia is being within driving distance of many beautiful hiking spots. Kennesaw Mountain is the closest to my home in the Atlanta suburbs, and in the spring when the weather is mild and everything is in bloom, it is an absolute delight to visit. The interesting thing about this trek is that there are two ways to accomplish it. The first is to take the paved road that has been created for cars and busses to reach the top, which is 1,808 feet above sea level. This route is smooth and easy to navigate—you simply follow the path, which curves around the mountain like a spiral staircase. You’ll get a workout for sure, and the views from the peak are rewarding. This option does, however, have a drawback: There’s not a lot to see on the way up, and you spend a great deal of time dodging cyclists and vehicles.
Sometimes life can feel a bit like climbing a steep mountain—especially when things are challenging. There isn’t a way around hard times, but there are usually different means of approaching them.
The other option is to follow one of the rugged trails through the forest, all of which are more demanding. The terrain is anything but even, and oftentimes visitors must work their way around rocks and ditches and even do a little climbing. Yet, despite the challenging nature of these trails, I find they are by far the more entertaining way to summit. Because there are no vehicles around, deer and other wildlife are easy to spot, and we always take time to seek out a shady place for quiet reflection or look for flowers and bushes we missed the last time we made the trip.
Sometimes life can feel a bit like climbing a steep mountain—especially when things are challenging. There isn’t a way around hard times, but there are usually different means of approaching them. We might be tempted to choose the easier, well-worn path we know, the “same tracks” Dr. Stanley mentions in his sermon. But instead of taking the familiar way on autopilot without giving God a second thought, perhaps the One who ordains and directs our steps is calling us to something different and better. (See Ps. 37:23-24; Prov. 16:9; Jer. 10:23.) The way He wants us to go might be rockier and more challenging, but as is the case on Kennesaw Mountain, the journey He has in mind is always worthwhile and enlightening.