What path do we take?
Where Ell and I live there is still about six inches of snow on the ground. As we prepared for the Jamaican Party, I noticed there was only one path in the snow between our driveway and the house. That path led from where we parked our cars and then straight to our back door. As I tried to figure out where people would be parking, I quickly noticed most of the people wouldn't be able to see that one path. So, both so our guests wouldn't have to walk through calf-deep snow and so Ell wouldn't have a wet kitchen floor, I started stepping out a path from the other side of the driveway towards the back door.
As I tramped down the cold, wet snow I looked around to see what other paths we'd made in the snow around our home. There were only two; one to the garden and a well-worn one from the porch to the woodpile. The first we used to dump our compost which would eventually help us feed ourselves, and the latter was used everyday to keep us warm and alive in the harshness of the winter season. Both were made out of true necessity, but neither were paths that might exist at anyone else's home. Interesting thought, huh?
Later that evening during the party, I wandered into a conversation between my friend's Mike and Grant. The topic at hand was the calling of God and Grant posed the question, "Do we all have a path laid out for us?" As I pondered his question my mind went to the paths in my yard. Does each of us have our own paths of necessity that are not the paths even our neighbor's share? And then as if Grant was reading my mind, he asked, "How do we figure out [where to tramp out] our paths if we don't even know where we're going?"
I wish I could say I had some profound answers to my friend's questions, but I did not. I was standing there wondering the same things. Our paths in the snow were the results of Ell and I wanting to spend as little time as we had to in the wintry conditions; the least resistance as it were. We hadn't made the paths to make any kind of impact on anyone else's lives; we simply went the easiest way. But when it comes to following life paths, I'm not sure the easiest way or the shortest distance is always the right approach.
What came out of that conversation was a basic question: Did God still [in 2008] call people to specific paths and if so where is the biblical and physical proof of that positive answer? Do we all have a path laid out for us by our creator? Do we all really have the capacity to know our goals and in return work towards them? We were beginning to doubt there were positive answers to those questions because so many people seem to be searching without any focus or calling or path to follow (or pursue.)
(On a side note, one problem in having a discussion about God's calling is there are brazen people who insinuate folks that are lost aren't truly searching or worse yet, not really Christians. And people wonder why non-Christians call Christians judgmental. If you have it figured out, share your experience with others, and don't ridicule them.)
So what do you think? Does God still "call" people? Do we all have our own paths and we just need to tramp them out in the coldness of the world? Do you think talents and natural skills are ways God gives us clues to where we should be heading? Or do you have another theory? The forum is open...