Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Walking purposefully

As I was walking to and from lessons yesterday, I started to think about an object lesson while dodging puddles and dirty melting piles of snow. Walking to and from my Russian lessons by myself is one of my favorite things. (when the weather is nice ;) Yesterday was a particularly gorgeous day with most of the day having very little cloudiness. Spring is a time of melting in Russia, and there are puddles everywhere. Some puddles are small while others require walking up on the mounds of snow on either side of the walkway. It made me think about walking purposefully or carefully so I would not be a muddy spotted mess by the time I  arrived at class. It can easily be applied to how we walk with our Savior. We need to walk purposefully. Proverbs 4:26  tells us we must "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established." We make decisions each about the path our feet are taking. Some we make without thinking about it, while others bring us to our knees seeking direction. The path we are on should always be at the forefront of our mind. We live in a sinful world. Sin is around us everyday. At work, getting groceries, soul-winning, running errands - we are often around those who could not care less about the things of our God. We should be reaching out to everyone at all times, but always remembering to ponder the path of our own feet. I have gone through a whole day without ever realizing that at some point I splashed some muddy water onto my clothes. Sometimes I think we can get so distracted with life, going through the motions, that we forget to walk purposefully.

Sometimes there are those puddles that are so deep, you can't see the ground below. They span from one end of the sidewalk to the other, with the still melting mounds of snow on either side. The two options are wade through if your boots can handle that much water, or step up on the mounds of snow trying not to slip into the foreboding muddy water. These are the times our steps become difficult. Literally every step is important. These are times of trials, when our faithfulness is tested. When times of life are difficult and even overwhelming, it is easy to feel alone. The thought crosses my mind that if I only had a hand to hold this would be much easier. Isn't it great that we are never truly alone!

Then I turned the corner onto the main road. This sidewalk was dry as could be. The snow had been shoveled away all winter long. When I say they shoveled it away, I mean they came with massive dump trucks and literally shoveled the snow into these trucks which removed it from the middle of town. I was enjoying the dry sidewalk so much that when I came to a parking lot I almost stepped in a nasty puddle. When life is rolling along and our comfort zone has returned, we can easily start feeling confident and thinking of other things besides the path of our feet.

So where are your feet headed? Are you walking purposefully? Where were your feet last year? Where were your feet yesterday? How are you walking today?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Awkward moments & Melting ice

So between deputation and living in a foreign country, it seems awkward moments are just a part of life. I reached a new level tonight though. :) I was waiting to be picked up by my sweet mother-in-law after a lesson. Since parking is almost non-existent, I was waiting on the sidewalk ready to jump into the car at the stoplight. It was dark and raining. My glasses had raindrops on them, making it very difficult to see the cars. It was important for me to be ready to jump into the car so no one would wait on me. I spotted what I thought was her car so I got onto the street where the crosswalk for the light is and started walking back towards the car. I could not just simply cross at any point from the sidewalk to the street due to the mountain of ice and snow that is starting to slowly melt on the edge of the sidewalk. I could not stand on the other side of the snow because when a car passed I would be sprayed and drenched by the lake of water on roads due to the flooding that happens when 5 feet of snow begins to melt. So here I am running through the rain (without an umbrella) to get into a nice dry car. I started to reach for handle, and what to I realize? It's not my mother-in-law! I've just made a complete spectacle of myself running down the street through the rain to a car with someone who looked a tad freaked out. I smiled because I didn't know what else to do, backed up into the wall of snow, and realized I half to run back to the crosswalk now to get on the sidewalk before a car comes and drenches me. Yes, I can't imagine what was going through the mind of that poor person in the car. This is the point at which I laugh because seriously what else is there to do? By the way, I'm home and dry and did finally get into the right car!

On the way home, the Lord reminded me things can always be worse. The road that we live on is not taken care of like the main roads. Right now it has melting ice with about six inch divots full of cold, muddy, disgusting water. The divots are caused by the cars on the road. The water is too deep to walk through obviously, so you must walk on the ice which is ridiculously slippery due the melting and refreezing that is going on right now. As we pulled on to our street, we could see an older man struggling to walk...and then the struggle came to crashing halt as he slipped on the ice and fell in the water. I'm pretty sure it was one of the saddest things I have ever seen! He got up and started walking again, dripping, dirty and cold. Yes, spring is here!