I love all of my adventure loving friends who are willing to take a walk through the woods at a moment's notice. This past weekend we took a quick trip to Broken Bow, Oklahoma to see the Fall foliage in the Ozark foothills.
The hills were a carpet of gold, yellow, red and brown as the final weeks of the annual raining of leaves draws to a quick close. Winter is coming as evidenced by the hard freeze last week. The beauty of the first show of color is closely followed by the browns of the final days of the leaf's life before falling to the floor of the forest.
The thick carpet of newly fallen leaves makes the trail almost invisible. Our long hike on Saturday was supposed to be a loop. It ended up being more of a loop-d-loop. The trail was so difficult to follow we ended up walking parts of several trails and exiting on the highway about a half a mile from our vehicle. We stopped several times to discuss if we were following the correct trail and a couple of times trying to decide exactly where the trail was. The beautiful leaves had made the trail impossible to find or follow, causing us to pause and ponder the right way. The trail map on a bandanna one of the girls bought ended up being our saving grace. Though the legend on the bandanna warned it was not to scale, it was good enough to guide us out of the woods. A cardinal hiking rule is always have a map or a compass. The direction you are traveling can be almost impossible to determine when you are in the deep woods.
So it is in life as we trek along the path, we need a map and compass. God provides His Word as our map and Jesus as our compass. Even when the trail becomes invisible with the trappings of The World, there is help to get back on the right path. Every turn, every new trail, every option should be carefully considered as we consult the map and look to The Guide. He will lead us out of the deep woods and into the clearing leading back to the correct path-when we trust The Map and consult The Guide. I love this verse--the still small voice whispers in our ear.