is Palm Sunday and I’m at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs. I miss my church
family, but I also enjoy being with two writer friends in this little town known
for its crooked streets and gingerbread houses. I suppose I could find a service
to attend, but instead I’m occupied with thoughts about a walk I took on
was a glorious day with sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. Tulips, hyacinths
and other spring flowers nodded in the breeze while fuchsia-pink redbuds and white
dogwoods laced the hillsides. I couldn’t resist walking through the
neighborhood as I waited for Talya and Tom to arrive.
trek began along a pea gravel path that soon connected to a section of
walkway in front of the first house on the street. The walk had been fashioned
from flat rock set in stepping-stone style. At the neighbor’s property line, the
stones gave way to an older section of concrete slabs broken and buckled by
I found smoother going in front of the next residence where the
owners had constructed a new sidewalk of faux granite designed to fit in with
Eureka’s historical character. But once past that yard, I encountered more rough
walkway, the composition changing several times as I moved past various
was conscious of the uneven surfaces, but my focus was on the lush scenery.
That was, until I stumbled on a jagged edge lifted by invading trees. I kept
my balance and slowed my pace, trying to divide my attention between the beauty
beyond and the irregular surface. It wasn’t long before I was distracted by
another scene and tripped again. Managing to stay upright, I slowed
down even more, telling myself to concentrate on where my feet were landing instead
of on the landscape. That worked until a particularly pretty flower grabbed my attention,
and I stumbled a third time.
stopped, feeling clumsy and a little old as I remembered breaking a bone in my
foot a couple of years ago while walking in this very neighborhood. Where was
that agility I used to take for granted? But I told myself—as my son sometimes says—it’s all good. I didn’t fall. (I’d like
to think that’s because I’m fairly active and work on my balance.)
stumbles were like a signal flashing:
Slow down. Watch your step.
crossed the street and started back toward my lodging on a better sidewalk. When
it ended, I moved into the road to avoid the worst sections of walkway I had
Soon spiritual applications of my experience began to
percolate in my brain. Here
are several thoughts and Bible verses that came to me along the way.
Ø Long before he was a soldier or
king, David was a shepherd who understood the way of the deer in the rugged terrain.
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the
(2 Samuel: 22:33-34, NIV).
Note to self: When I find myself on rocky ground, I can ask
God to make me brave and sure-footed.
Ø David’s world was smaller than ours,
but it was full of violence and danger. As he faced opposition, his confidence
was in God. He prayed:
Let me hear in
the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. 9 Deliver me from my
enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge. 10 Teach me to
do your will, for
you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
(Psalm 143:8-10, ESV)
Note to self: When I'm afraid and begin to worry about the state of our world,
I can make his prayer my own.
Ø Solomon wrote a great deal in Proverbs about who we should hang out
with and the kinds of paths we should take. Here’s one of my favorite portions.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In
all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be
not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs
3:5-8. E SV)
Note to self: When I’m
unsure of my own judgment, I can depend on his to guide me.
Ø And finally at this stage of my life, I think of Paul’s words as I
take stock of my plans.
Look carefully then how you walk! Live
purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible,
intelligent people), 16 Making the very most of the time
[buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16, Amplified Bible)
Note to self: I can pray each day to recognize what is truly important
and make it my priority.
Whatever is going on in your world today, I hope you
will be confident in the God who knows your name, find yourself walking on a smooth
path and feel the joy of His presence.
Labels: Devotional, Eureka Springs, faith, Spring, walkways