Stay on the Road
Posted by November 28, 2017on
An experience from my childhood demonstrates the importance of living and staying in the true way of God.
My parents were storytellers. They frequently told us stories from their childhood and about events that occurred in our lives as we were growing up.
A smile would appear as they began to relive a special memory. Here’s an example of one of those stories.
When I was almost 6, my parents farmed about 15 to 20 acres of land near Fourche Maline Creek in southeastern Oklahoma. The land was owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, which allowed farmers to farm the open fields if they agreed to leave some of their crop for the local wildlife.
My parents and my two older brothers planted field corn that April, and the corn was left on the stalks until it dried in August.
Follow the road
Shortly after daylight on a hot August morning, my dad hitched our horses to our farm wagon. Dad, Mom and I sat on the bench in front of the wagon and my brothers sat in the bed of the wagon, ready to make the 2-mile journey to our cornfield.
Dad flipped the reins and called “giddyup” to our horses, Spot and Dot. The horses started off down the rutted road across our pasture and began to climb the worn path up the rocky, south hill out of our valley. We stayed on the dirt road until we arrived at the cornfield, which was heavy with dried corn.
Hot, hard work
My dad’s and brothers’ job was to pick the corn from the dried stalks and throw it into the wagon while my mother slowly drove the wagon up and down through the cornfield—with me holding on to the bench beside her. When the wagon was full of corn, we made the return journey to our home to unload the corn into our corncrib.
Harvesting the 15-plus acres required one or two trips almost every day for a month. This hard work was necessary, as it provided essential food for our chickens and other livestock for the coming winter.
Walking the path
One day our horses were acting up and would unexpectedly “throw a runaway.” My parents were afraid for me to stay on the wagon bench beside my mother because of the danger of being thrown off. But I wasn’t tall enough to help harvest corn, so a problem arose—what to do with Andrea?
Mom came up with a plan. She pointed to the path made by the wagon and promised to buy me a rubber baby doll if I would follow the wagon and stay on the path as the wagon moved back-and-forth through the cornfield.
Mom would smile at the memory of her little blond daughter following the wagon for a few hours as the family worked, and I loved that baby doll she ordered for me from the Sears and Roebuck catalog!
My physical parents provided a pathway for me to walk in safety that long-ago day.
More important, our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ have provided the safe pathway for mankind that leads to eternity.
The “way” is mentioned frequently in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The Hebrew word often translated “way” is derekh, which literally means a road or path. The Greek word is hodos, which means road—a route to a destination, or figuratively a vehicle to a destination.
Jesus Christ is both the vehicle to eternal life and the example of how to walk or live:
- “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
- “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6).
To learn more about His way, read articles about Christian Living on Life, Hope & Truth.
Endure until the end
My mother fulfilled her promise to buy me a rubber baby doll if I obeyed her and stayed on the path until our workday was finished.
We, too, are on a Christian journey that requires endurance—with a reward at the end: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
After the apostle Paul’s conversion, he lived his life as an imitator of Jesus Christ—walking the way Christ walked (1 Corinthians 11:1). Then, as the end of his life drew near, God inspired Paul to write words of hope and encouragement to all of us who are still on this journey: “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
Let’s keep on walking!