“He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3b NIV)
When I was fifteen years old, my father and brother and I loaded up our equipment and drove from Northeast Texas to Philmont Scout Ranch in Northeast New Mexico, a high-adventure backpacking camp of the Boy Scouts of America. Since many of us had not been there before or had done the sort of engagement with the outdoors we were about to embark upon, we were assigned a guide. He accompanied us for the first few days, reminding us of what we learned at orientation in base camp and teaching us lessons that cannot be learned except on the trail.
We had set out on an adventurous journey, but we were not sent out alone. A guide went with us.
The next sentence and thought in this great psalm begins, “He guides me…”
That alone is worth stopping to take note of before moving onward. Think of how many people in the bible knew God as guide.
- Abraham and Sarah were guided to a foreign land the Lord promised them.
- Abraham’s servant was guided back to his master’s people in order to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac.
- Moses was guided back to Egypt in order to guide the Lord’s people to freedom.
We could list many, many more. David knew the guidance of the Lord through trials as King-in-waiting on the run from King Saul, as well as during his reign.
Christ, in saving us, places us on the path of the Christian life. We are not called to this path and sent on our own, however. We are sent with a guide, the guide: “He guides me…”
Exercise: Make this sentence your breath prayer today (more on breath prayer at the end of this post). Take a moment to say it a few times. Say it on your way to work or school. Say it throughout the day. Say it in the evening. Get it inside you and reflect on when and how you have known the Lord as your guide.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for calling me to the adventure of a life lived for you. And thank you for not leaving me alone, but guiding me where you call me. Amen.