The wisdom of following

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The Word

“Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.” Psalm 5:8


The first time I went hiking in the Petit Jean State Park region of Arkansas, an experience that should have been enjoyable turned into something otherwise before days end. I rose early in the morning, filled my backpack with supplies for a day hike, walked out of the door of the rustic log cabin I was staying in, and stepped out into the beauty and freshness of a crisp, cool, fall Ozark morning.

I spent most the day on well-marked and used paths enjoying the views from the mountain top and taking breaks to sit and read atop huge boulders. I made my way into a deep ravine in the afternoon and began to follow along the creek bank for a good distance when I noticed the sun beginning to set. My return distance to the cabin questionable before dark.

I made my way back to the hill top, but by the time I did the sun had set and darkness was at hand. I studied a simple map with the light from a small flashlight and thought I could cut through an area where there was no path to shorten the walk. After a few minutes, though, I came upon a steep cliff’s edge I did not notice on the map and had to reconfigure my course to the cabin. I finally returned safely. I have hiked the area many times since then, but with a little better planning.


I pray this morning that You lead me on Your right path and make Your way plain to me so I do not wander anywhere that would cause me harm. Thank You for the path You have made for this day, and at day’s end may I be at peace because I have carefully followed You and accomplished Your will for me for this day. Amen.

Craig Smith