Young man, here is something you need to remember: we all wander. Whether towards or away from God, closer to or further away from friends, nearer to the righteous path or fumbling around in the mud of sin.
This describes my path, your path, your grandmother’s path… everyone’s path.
Simon Peter, the man who said to Jesus, “I’ll not deny you”, denied knowing Him three times... right after saying he wouldn't! And Peter literally walked alongside Jesus for three years, listening to His every teaching, watching His every miracle, and experiencing His every moment.
If Peter ‘wandered,’ don’t you think you and I would, too? Sure thing.Its natural and normal and as old as religion itself.
There is a wonderful passage in one of my favorite songs, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.
This song was written in 1757. That’s before the US was founded, before Ben Franklin played with electricity, and well before anything close to modern showed up. Two thousand years prior to that, the Book of Proverbs was put together with many similar warnings.
One of the most holy men I’ve met is Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest who started Homeboy Industries in LA. ‘Father G’ tells a story of receiving a simple red string bracelet with a knot in its center from the Dali Lama.
Throughout the day, the knot moves often and Father G found himself always moving it back to the center. “The knot is God who I long to have at the center of my life.”
You'll continue to stray from the path. And, your future, like the picture above, holds more potential paths than you can imagine.
You'll wander. The point, though, is not the wandering but the return.
Do you want the really good news? God doesn’t care how long you’ve wandered or how far you’ve gone. He is waiting excitedly for your return and will welcome you with open arms.
You know the path and you know that it leads you to life eternal. The trick is twofold: first, you have to catch yourself in your wandering off… and then to decide to wander back.
*Hat Tip to JD Walt of The Seedbed Daily Text