There is a popular reality show on television called The Amazing Race. The objective is easy enough, be the first team to reach the destination and win the prize. The race is broken down into segments or legs. Upon completion of a leg the team is presented with a clue as to the next pit stop destination. The teams are given credit cards to use to purchase travel, and a stipend for food and other necessities along the way. So ultimately, each participant knows where the next stop is and is given everything necessary to reach their destination.
But…what if the rules were different? What if the teams were asked to travel a road but they didn’t know where it was leading? And what if they determined they must be at a pit stop but there were no clues given as to the next destination? How would the game change if they knew they were in a race but had no idea where the finish line was let alone how to get there? It wouldn’t make for good TV, that much is certain. And yet many times as believers in Christ, we are called into similar situations, finding ourselves on a road we aren’t familiar with, one that leads to a place unknown.
Our amazing race is often times more of an obstacle course full of hazards and pitfalls we don’t see coming. We are put on a path we didn’t choose and have no other option but to stay on the path even in the midst of falling trees, sinkholes, quick sand and venomous creatures. We may believe we have sure footing and are running at an even pace when suddenly a gust of wind knocks us off our feet and we end up on our backs looking up and wondering what just hit us. Illness, unemployment, divorce, crime, accidents…our hazards. They can cause even the most devout Christian to ask why. David asked God why many times in the Psalms. “If you appointed me king why am I hiding in a cave?” “If I am chosen why am I running for my life?” “Why have you abandoned me? When will you come to my rescue?” A man after God’s own heart, asked Him “why” many times.
If you’ve ever been in a nasty storm or blizzard where visibility was zero and you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, you will be able to relate to being in the midst of trials so severe you can’t see God in it. And yet we are compelled to rely on our belief that He is ever-present even when we can’t find Him, even when we can’t determine purpose or direction, even when He leaves us no clues as to the intended outcome. Sometimes we can’t see the path that lies before us-we can only see the next step. We are told in Psalm 119 that the Word of God is a “Lamp for our feet, a light for our path“, even if only the next few steps are illuminated. We are also given this bit of hope, a rock solid promise and clue, if you will, from Proverbs 3, my translation:
“Trust in the Lord with all you have left and don’t try to figure out His purpose with your human mind. In everything you say and do continue to confess Him as Sovereign Lord and He will give you a path you can navigate.”
Grace for the race, enough light for the next step-sometimes that’s all we’re given. All we can know for sure is that someone has already run this race for us, long before we came along, and we know it can be navigated and it has an eventual destination. Peace and blessings.