New Paths

New Paths photo
Red line shows the original path, now long forgotten.

Sometime last year, during one of the sudden, violent, thunderstorms that we occasionally experience in Texas, a small tree crashed across a path in our beloved park. Getting around it was no easy task. Waist-high, thick, scratchy, bull thistle and burclover attacked us as we circumnavigated begrudgingly. “Surely, someone will bring a chainsaw and clear this path soon,” I thought. But this was not one of the main trails; only a path worn by neighbors who knew the secret park entrance close to our house. Days, weeks, months, went by and no tree removal. Instead, step by step, the weeds were trampled, turned brown, and ground into dirt. As the new path slowly formed, the old one was quietly disappearing.

Today there is no trace of the original path, but Something today prompted me to take a photo and consider how establishing new, healthier habits is just like this. Uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and sometimes downright painful at first. The more we tread the new path, the easier and more comfortable it becomes until we forget about the way we used to go. Maybe we could even place our own felled trees to block those unhealthy old ways.

Psalm 139: 23, 24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”