[e-Devotionals.org] 2004-09-15 - He Went One Way; You Went the Other

Encore 2000-03-29

Psalm 16:7 (LB) I will bless the Lord who counsels me; he gives me wisdom in the night. He tells me what to do. 8 I am always thinking of the Lord; and because he is so near, I never need to stumble or fall.

I am still wondering if I ever grew up. Seems like I was still a kid when my own kids started coming along. They have kept me going as a big kid. I love to be involved in their activities. My latest foray into my kids' activities is horseback riding. Our middle child has been riding horses for over a year now. I love to go watch her as she learns equestrian skills. Well, after about six months of watching, I could not stand it any longer. I asked Mary if I could ride. We had a great time. She led the horse around the rink, with old dad hanging on and feeling more and more confident. As the time passed and my confidence increased, it was time for me to do some riding on my own. I took a day off from work to go riding, with Mary’s instructor teaching me the basics.

The only trouble I had was getting “Dooley” to go past a woodpile just outside the rink. After an hour of letting him avoid the woodpile, I decided it was time to make Dooley go past the woodpile. Bad idea. As we slowly walked up to the pile, all seemed fine until Dooley was spooked, he turned sharply, and in my mind, he was bucking and rearing up. As I am lying on the ground wondering if my hip is broken, the trainer runs up to Dooley, loving on him and telling him everything is okay and that he is a good boy! Well to say the least, I was thoroughly confused. The horse throws me off, I am lying on the ground with a bruised backside and my pride shattered to little pieces around me, while the horse is getting praised!

Of course in an effort to gather up my pride, I hopped back up on Dooley and rode around the rink (away from the woodpile). Finally I asked the trainer, “I was just wondering, why is it, that when this horse bucked me off, you gave him accolades?” She said, “The horse did nothing wrong and I wanted to assure him of that. He didn’t buck you off; when Dooley turned, he went one way and you went the other.”

I think a lot of us do the same thing with God. When all is well, then we believe that we must be doing everything correctly. We pat ourselves on the back and say, "way to go, self!" But when the bumps and roadblocks appear in our lives, we tend to say, “God, why are you throwing me off? Why are you bucking me?” God is not bucking us. He is doing as Dooley did to me; God wants us to change a direction in our lives and we want to stay put. God goes one way, while we go the other. God deserves our praise when He changes our directions. He deserves our praise for caring and loving us so much that He only wants the very best for us, even if it means letting us take some wrong turns. Recently my son was skateboarding without his kneepads. I told him to put them on, but he refused. I said, "fine." Two minutes later, he came in the house whimpering, with a scraped-up knee. Now, he wears them all the time and I never have to ask him to put them on. Sometimes we just have to learn the hard way.

Where do you feel like you are moving in one direction while God wants you to move in another way in your life today? Are you missing any teachable moments that God is trying to use? Are you giving Him praise in all things?

Lord, help me to examine my heart closely today and every day. Shine Your light deep into the dark places; illuminate Your will for my life. Help me to keep moving in the direction that You want. Thank You for loving me so much that You allow me to scrape my knees on life. And even after I try to go at life without You, I am thankful that You welcome me back with open arms. In Christ’s name, Amen.

David Massey

[email david] david@e-devotionals.org