My husband and I built our home just across the yard from my parents. Between my parents house and ours there is a gravel walkway. I couldn't even begin to number the times my boys have ran back and forth across that walk. The boys have carried goodies home from Grandma's and jogged back for lawnmower rides with Grandpa. I, myself, have ran across to gain comfort from my parents when a workday has been especially stressful.
During the summer months, the walk is shaded by a large walnut tree. When the days grow cooler, those walnuts begin to fall and cover part of the walk. This season in particular, the tree produced a large amount of walnuts. I started noticing them scattered across the walk and even part of my driveway. Just this past week, the green balls took over and chocked out any semblance of a path. Our boys used them for batting practice and putting practice. The cats played with the smaller walnuts, batting them around, chasing them and jumping back and forth between the ever growing numbers.
On Wednesday, I decided we better do something about the walnuts. It was getting so we couldn't walk to my parents or them to our house without tripping. So, after school, the boys joined me in the driveway with buckets to collect the pale green balls. We filled one five gallon bucket and turned to see our progress. Honestly, it didn't even look as though we had made a dent in the amount of nuts. There was still this ocean of nuts between our houses. Another five gallon bucket, a little progress ... at least we could see the gravel peaking from beneath the nuts.
My seven year old stopped mid stride, toting a bucket and sweating from the work. "Man, Mom ... this is hard work, it don't even look like we did anything yet!"
I stopped beside him and tussled his hair. "You're right, there are still lots of nuts. But, let's keep going, we'll get it done."
He sighed and heaved the bucket along, collecting nuts as he went. I stood straight, arching my back and realizing he was right. This was pretty hard work. And, in that moment, I saw something.
I saw my life and my walk with God. There are times when it's easy, when the weather may be hot but I walk in the shade He provides. Then, there are difficult times. Those times are usually a result of my own poor choices. My poor choices seem like those walnuts. They scatter across the path between me and God. If I don't take care of the poor choices and clean them up, I find myself tripping and I can't make my way to the comfort He is waiting to give.
Sometimes, there are so many nuts on my path, I feel like giving up. I want to walk away from the hard work and ask somebody else to clean it up for me. When I feel that frustration start to take over, God is right there telling me ..."You're right, there's still a lot of hard work to do. But, keep going, we'll get it done."
How are you feeling today? Is your path cluttered with walnuts (poor choices)? Join me in the hard work, clean the path leading from your house to His heart. He's right there waiting, encouraging you and telling you not to give up.
Psalms 119: 2 "Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their hearts."
1st John 2:1-2 "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. "