Following the Trailblazer

When I was young, my family would drive over to Lake Stevens to visit my Uncle Harry and Aunt Nettie. (Later, I would find out they were not my aunt and uncle, but our families were so close that the honorary titles were given to them.) Along with playing outside all day and all night, taking hikes around the lake, and just exploring the nature that surrounded us, I loved to pick blackberries from the bushes that seemed to grow everywhere on or near their property.
There were also plums to pick, but harvesting them was not so simple. Dad had to cut his way through branches and bushes and thickets to earn that privilege, literally carving a path from Harry and Nettie’s property to the magical place where the plum trees grew. I loved following Dad as he blazed and created a trail that previously did not exist.
While looking back fondly on these adventures, I’m reminded of the story about a man on an African safari deep in the jungle. The guide before him had a machete and was whacking away the tall weeds and thick underbrush (much like my father did on our quest for plums). The traveler, who was hot and exhausted by that point, asked with frustration, “Where are we? Do you know where you’re taking me? Where is the path?!” The veteran guide stopped and looked back at the man and replied, “I am the path.”
At Lake Stevens all those years ago, my Dad was the path. In life, we often ask our Father in Heaven, “Where are you taking me? Where is the path?” And He, like the guide in Africa, doesn’t tell us. He might give us a small clue here and there, but if He told us everything, would we really get it? Would we truly understand where we were? No, like the traveler on safari, we are unacquainted with this jungle known as life on earth. So rather than giving us an answer, Jesus gives us a much greater gift. He gives us Himself. He is our path.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Troy Burns