Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme. In one sense, trails are all the same: they take us to a destination.
But in another sense, no two trails are alike….
They may be paved with asphalt, stone, pebbles, oyster shells, gravel, or bare soil and fallen leaves. They may be windy or straight, sunny or shaded, wide or narrow, cleared or cluttered, lonely or crowded, serene or scary. Sometimes the trail affords the traveler with a place to rest. More often, one must simply keep on going. Even the wildlife is different for different regions. And the weather plays a part in variety as well.
Here are some variations on a slightly different theme…
Just as a physical path can be wide or narrow, even so there are two spiritual paths one may choose: a wide path and a narrow path.
Matthew 7:13-14 Enter in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be who go in there: Because narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.
It is true that few find the narrow way which leads to life, but God wants us all to find it and walk down that path of life, and He graciously shows us how to find it.
Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
But just as physical paths can have obstacles, so can the path of life. The devil uses distractions to keep us from following God down the path of life, and he knows just what it will take to get us off track. For many, it is lust…
Proverbs 5:3-6 For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil, but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest you should ponder the path of life, her ways are movable, that you cannot know them.
There are also shadows on the path of life, as well as the path to destruction. They are both alike in this respect. It is called the valley of the shadow of death, and all of us will go that way sooner or later. The difference is that when you walk the narrow way, the path of life, Jesus walks with you, so there is no need to fear the shadows.
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Please do not be one who forgets God. This path is dark and hopeless, and it will not end well.
Job 8:11-19 Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? can the reeds grow without water? While it is yet green, and not cut down, it withers before any other plant. S,o are the paths of all that forget God, and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish: Whose confidence shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure. He grows green in the sun, and his branch shoots forth in his garden. His roots are wrapped about the stone heap, and looks for a place in the stones. If he is destroyed from his place, then it will deny him, saying, I have not seen you. Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow.
If you prefer light and life, then choose the path of the just (those who have been covered in the righteousness of Christ).
Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day.
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“Wide path” photo taken in Chesapeake, Virginia, 2008
“Stone stairs” photo taken in Gorges State Park, North Carolina, 2011
“Light at the end” photo taken in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, 2007
“Stone steps” photo taken along Skyline Drive, Virginia, 2014
“Canopy” photo taken along Skyline Drive, Virginia, 2014
“Smooth path” photo taken in Sapphire Valley, North Carolina, 2011
“Resting place” photo taken along Skyline Drive, Virginia, 2014