Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)
I just came in from letting the horses out into the pasture for the night. Their stalls have two gates, one at the back and one at the front. If we leave one gate latched, one horse will trap another in a stall resulting in kicking, fighting and bent gates. I have even watched a horse leap straight over a gate to get out when penned. So, we stop that game by making sure both sides are open leaving a way of escape. My routine is to open all the back gates and then, come around the barn and open the front ones. The first stall I reach is my friend’s horse, Tarzan. I opened his rear gate, kept going to Trucker’s and then, Indy’s. I walked through Indy’s and reversed the order to open the front gates. Indy’s, then, Trucker’s and finally back to Tarzan’s stall. I was surprised to see him still standing there, facing the gate with his butt to the opening behind him. He could have exited out through the back and been the first to get grass, but thought he was still locked into his stall simply because he had not turned around to see the open gate. I was contemplating his dilemma, when I heard the fog horn blow off Egmont Key. With these warm days and cooler water temperatures, the nights have been foggy. I love the sound of the fog horn. Though melancholy, its wail says to me, “All is well. I am here. Just be still and listen. Follow me. I will guide you safely home.” I thought about a young friend who is trying to make decisions about her future, career, education and relationships. She doesn’t know where to turn and fears that she will make the wrong choice. Oh, how I remember those days. Saying yes to one thing implies saying no to another. If she goes, if she stays, in the course of her life will she live to regret one or perhaps all her decisions? She is a Christian so most of all wants to be obedient to God’s call on her life and go where He directs. But, how to know what that is when you have a million people telling you what to do and your own longings are mixed in? Some of us gave her the usual advice: pray, listen for God’s voice, either audible or unspoken. It may be a shout or a gentle whisper or a nudge. Look for opportunities that could be His opening of a door. Seek wise counsel. But, sometimes, I think it is as simple as turning your head from what direction you are facing and seeing if there is a completely different path available. Sometimes, like a horse trapped within his stall, it requires enough faith to leap over that gate and get out. Whatever comes, I am sure God will not only give her guidance, but will give her the courage to follow where He directs. Just jump, Kate.