You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. [Psalm 119:1-3 (MSG)]

You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. [Psalm 119:4-5 (MSG)]

hiking Steamboat SpringsIn an article about how our post-pandemic new normal will evolve, the author suggested a process for businesses to identify what needs changing in their post COVID-19 world. As a way of illustrating their method, there was an aerial photograph of a college campus quad.  Before designing the walkways for this large green area surrounded on four sides by university buildings, the landscape architects simply sodded the field and observed how the students used the grassy expanse. After a while, the beaten down grass indicated the students’ preferred traffic patterns and it was on those favored paths that they finally placed paved walkways. At first glance, the asymmetric sidewalks seemed random but, once the process was explained, the strange arrangement of paths made sense. It was easy to see how they accommodated people’s tendency to take shortcuts and cut across corners.

While observing emerging patterns of behavior and then accommodating those patterns worked for that quad’s design and may be a good model for business, God doesn’t work that way. He’s not running a business, seeking to improve employee output, or trying to accommodate customers or students rushing to class. God is both perfect and immutable—unchallengeable and unchanging—and He has not designed the world or our lives to accommodate our preferences for ease, efficiency or profit. Instead, we are to adjust our lives to accommodate His desires!

The landscape architects accommodated the students’ tendency to take shortcuts and cut corners. Hoping to keep us from walking on the grass, God doesn’t place the sidewalks where we want them. Instead, He puts the walkways exactly where He wants them and posts signs saying, “Keep off the grass!” Cutting corners and taking shortcuts in life usually involve far more than walking on the grass and God is not about to pave the wrong way for us.

The path God chooses for us isn’t always the easy one. More often than not, it is pretty much guaranteed to be the hard way, one that is often rocky and steep. Nevertheless, since it is God’s way, it is the right way and only path to take.

Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention. … What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. [Matthew 7:13-14,21 (MSG)]

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