Why is it that snow does not drift naturally to either side of the driveway and leave the middle clean? Why does wind not keep snowflakes off sidewalks? Why is it that nature is not considerate enough to make a path in the right place?
Out our wintery window,, I see swans slipping on the ice. My pet, even in her dogged four wheel drive, slips as she makes her way down the steps.
Human nature is like that. People do not naturally slip toward more stable footing, or stray in the right direction. We do not lose our balance to find holiness or haphazardly drift toward discipline. Contrary to the common saying, who slips “up”?
Who has ever said, “Can you believe it, I was not paying careful attention and all of a sudden I found myself in a state of constant prayer?”
In a general sense the steps of human beings go in the direction God “establishes” (Proverbs 16:9) but the wise are not drifters. The “prudent give thought to their steps” (14:15). Those who would inherit salvation “must pay the most careful attention to what we have heard so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 1:14, 2:1).
An Old Testament leader, Nehemiah, learned that neither individuals nor cultures drift toward revival (Nehemiah 13). Moses learned the same lesson (Exodus 32).
Culture can easily drift into individuals too. God knows that. So just like in the times of Moses and Nehemiah he sends prophetic leaders to give his people eyes to see what he sees (cf. Luke 10:23).
So while snow drifts into the wrong places, God’s people who pay careful attention to their lives, and listen to Him, and to those whom God sends, will not perilously drift away.
King David learned this too, and so he could sing in Psalm 16:11: You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. You make known to me the path of life.
Now that’s something to Celebrate!