"walk humbly with your God"
My Awesome Girl went to a Christmas party the other night. Her friend lives a few towns south of us, in a beautiful area that's a little more rural than our home. Plus, it's a gated community, so the only cars in there have a reason to be there.
I got there a little early to pick up my girl, so I decided to drive around the community looking at the Christmas lights. Every street ends in a cul-de-sac, so there was no chance of my getting lost (although, if anyone could get lost on a cul-de-sac, it's moi...)
So I drove slowly, enjoying the Christmas music on my ipod, and appreciating all the beautiful lights, and as I approached the end of one street, I saw something in the driveway of the house directly ahead of me. At first I thought it was a cat, but then it moved, and it didn't move like a cat. I've seen raccoons before, and it wasn't that big. I've seen opossums before, but its tail was too big for that. All the while, I was driving slowly closer and closer, until I realized it was a skunk! I'd never seen one before. It was so beautiful, with the striking contrast of black and white, and for some reason, I thought it was stunning to see that white stripe go aaaall the way down its tail. And its fur looked so deep and rich; not silky, but thick. Like you'd want to dig your fingers into it, if it were something other than a skunk... It walked to the left about ten feet, in my headlights the whole time, and then it decided it wanted to go the other way, so it turned around and did a sort of running/loping thing, about twenty feet to the right, then under a fence where I couldn't see it anymore.
After I drove out of that cul-de-sac, and into another one, looking at more lights, I came upon a grassy patch where a few rabbits were silflaying. (If you've never read the book Watership Down, then you'll need to know that means the rabbits were above ground, eating. Oh, and go read Watership Down.)
The rabbits continued silflaying for a few minutes, even with my headlights on them, and I slowly inched my car forward, to watch them, but it didn't take long before one of them was spooked, and one by one, they all took off, lolloping away into the bushes. Although I'm always sad when a rabbit gets tired of me watching it, I love watching them hop away, their little white tails betraying them as they try to hide. I wonder if they know that they are less hidden when they're running than they are if they just sit. Might be some instinctual knowledge going on there, eh?
I started thinking how differently the skunk walked, compared to the rabbits. And how neither of them resembled the way, say, my cat walks. There are a lot of animals who look similar, but their walks are nothing alike. Compare the light, tripping walk of a doe, with the heavy plodding of a moose.
Here's the spiritual lesson: God wants us to walk with Him, but there are a lot of ways to do that. While we all are expected to follow the same commandments, no two walks are alike. The way I pray, the way you like to worship, whether we read the Bible first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or both, or some other time. Whether your church offers communion once a week, once a month, or on special days.... when and how you fast... how loud the musicians play at your church... There's a lot of room for judging one another when we focus on our differences. But as long as we're walking with Him, He can make the changes He desires, in His timing.
Walking with Him will have us walking alongside others. But our focus needs to be on Him.
~ "I am the light of the world.
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,
but have the light of life." ~