John Steward of Jesus
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Finding the Path

Recent postings of (R.G.) regarding the Amish included these

"They (Amish) do not accept change for the sake of change. There must be a good reason for change for it to be acceptable."

(regarding technology)"I have seen them accept a few changes, but very slowly, and that makes sense to me. At least, it makes more sense to me than what I see going on today all across the world."

Reading these observations reminded me everyone who tries to be responsible in making choices soon realizes the difficulty of knowing which path we should take. So often when we come to a fork in the path, we don't know where either alternative will lead. But our only choices seem to be to stop moving, or to go down one or the other of the paths.

In an attempt to deal with this burden of existence, people have searched for and used all kinds of rules and codes to determine the choice of path.  These rules and codes have been given many names, which are then used to categorize all of us. The observations above bring to mind the usual labels of conservative, progressive, liberal, simple, advanced, etc.

This is an old tension. If my memory is correct, Shakespeare said, "Be not the first by whom new is tried, nor yet the last the old to lay aside".

In our search for guidance, it is easy for us to be misled into thinking
that the "conservative" or "progressive" way is best, that when in doubt it is better to stick with the old, or to go for the new. We want a simple formula which will relieve us of the responsibility of choice, and enable us to judge the choices of others.

Only the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Freedom, can empower us to make the correct choice each time we come to a fork in the path. He is not bound by codes and traditions. Sometimes the right path is the old one. Sometimes it is the new one. Sometimes it is the simple one. Sometimes it is the complex one.  Until we walk with the confidence that He did and will guide us, we are doomed to look for the code or tradition which will always be correct, to suffer the anxiety of knowing that it is deficient, and to alienate ourselves from others because they haven't accepted the same code or tradition.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own
understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight."