Your Ways, O Lord

Artist: Janina Kobel

4 Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
Psalm 25 (NKJV)

Am I ever there yet? Where is there?

My life is good. I count the blessings bestowed by God and I feel good. I think of things yesterday that caused me angst, I see the very same all but forgotten today. I remember self-pity or maybe harsh words. In my heart, I was serious. Today all is new and forgotten – a wisp of burden floating to heaven. I am refreshed and born again. It is the unique ability to regenerate today yet retain all learned yesterday. Each day is a series of steps on a path the Lord unrolls before me like a velvet carpet. The steps of my life, the path of the Lord.

There is sadness in David’s psalmic voice. But there is reverence for God. Sadness is sometimes lamenting what I see as failure in my character. God sees no failure. I am a child of God. He lifts me beyond lament. The sound of  my voice is really sincere praise.

Yesterday’s anxiety is all but forgotten. I remember how I worried. I sat with sweated palms and forehead and prayed. God spoke:

Have courage, you are my child

Trust me, you are my child

I am with you, my child

Worry evaporates like the mist of water on a hot surface. All to heaven. Isn’t is funny how steam rises like my burdens rise to heaven where Jesus accepts my small thorn. He adds it to His collection that circumvent His head. I am sorry Lord. I do not wish to hurt You. But He is reassuring. He has paid the price and His grace covers me. His pain is now in His heart and it is for those who are stepping daily on the path of the wicked. I can help You Lord. Tell me how I can be Your servant. Maybe I will remind the wicked of Your grace and salvation. It will ease Your grief. I believe this is Your way. Teach me how to be a servant.

Release my burden like the rising steam

Renewed and supple near Your stream

The thorns of my burdens scratch Your head,

But, it is Your heart that grieves the path of the dead.

I give myself to Your court. I pray to You with expectancy. I cast all hindrance. For I see the path You have laid before me and at times I just stand. It is as if I am at an intersection. Right or left? Your gentle hand takes mine and leads. “Come with me“, I hear You say. I follow and my heart melts. He is beside me. There is joy.

God is omniscient. He is with me and He is with you. His heart grieves for those who push away. I can help. I can plant a seed on the bank near the water that flows of Life. The soil is fertile and seeds quickly germinate. Roots take hold. The vine grows and He counts one more as His child. How grateful I am. This feeling of peace I feel this moment is authored by the same God that created all Life and everything there is before me under and beyond the Sun.

I wait on the Lord. Even as the both feet are on His path, I may not know how to proceed. I step forth with the instilled boldness and courage You give, Father. If I do not step out and meet Jesus, I may miss the wonders and teaching that lie on the road to Him. Sure, He is with me! He is everywhere. But there are times that command stepping out. The end to one means may not be the real end at all! In other words, I may seek out Jesus for one reason and in the walk toward Him, a lost lamb crosses my path and I divert attention to it. A different end from what thought.  My self is vanquished.  I now have a different purpose, a good deed to do for God. I serve Him. The lamb bleats and grazes on the bank near the stream of the Living Water. How wonderful to help. Maybe I did. I hope. It suffices me to know He will tell me all my life in the Mercy Seat as my eyes meet His at last and He says: “Well done good and faithful servant“.

I dream, I lament, I pray. I seek to be reverent. Show me Your ways O Lord.

Rick Stassi

September 22, 2012

A Whimsical Walk on God’s Path

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not
John 1:4,5 (KJV)

I wake up and it is dark. I fall asleep and it is dark. From darkness to darkness I spend a moment in my life and it is a good day. Each day stands alone. There is a new beginning and a new end each day as I walk through my life in these increments. Looking backward and looking forward, constantly evaluating, upturning stones. It is my way. Smiles from the past and hopes for the future. I am always revisiting my first encounters. Wife, family, God. The encounters came in that order and it was as God planned. I see it. I see His footsteps when I look back into my past. They are as pronounced as ones that have just walked through fresh snow. A single path one foot and then the other. They are directional: one way forward and do not make an easy route in reverse. The path is straight.

This is how I see in retrospect: God walks a straight path in my life and I meander. Look at the snow. My steps are around a tree, over a log, hopping on rocks across a creek. Stopping and wasting a moment, or running to pass up several moments. I see my steps go in one direction, then they suddenly stop to reverse and try a new path. All the way I take twenty steps to God’s one. He is steady. I am always curiously peaking under rocks, poking a stick into a stream or swatting a bush. I remember these childlike attributes because they still are fresh in me and in some ways, even now as I smile, that it is who I am now.  Frolicking. I like this direction.

I allow myself a childlike demeanor at times for I am a child in this eternal life. It makes me happy. It is not escape, it is just my life – then, now, and forever. God instills a joy in me and makes my heart His. I am in a perpetual state of joy. I rewind and see so many tears and angst, but the joy in me now overcomes. I am lighthearted now and it is refreshing. Found a frog, dallied a bit and fell behind God’s stride. Better catch up.

I like this life. There is so much to do. I make a choice each day when I awake. Each day stands alone and new decisions I must make. Or not. I may dangle my feet in the creek a bit more, tarry at the things that pique my curiosity. For all is well and I feel safe. Yes that is it! I feel secure because I see His footsteps. I even see into His eyes. How warm and inviting they are. This is life and I choose to find solace in His gait. I choose today that I will smile and laugh and find humor when I stumble. I am responsible –  but I am a child. I refuse to grow up.

I met my wife and we found love, we had children. God knit a family together with a single thread of His love. Together my wife and I found Jesus. It was a natural choice. We already knew He was with us. Sometimes instead of drawing a circle in the dirt with a stick, round and round as this world, I look up and see His guardian eyes. They watch me. They command.  They protect. I am at rest. Newtonian Laws work in my life. “For every action…” This is the world pushing and if I am not careful, I feel the effect. There is cause and effect. But I do not need to succumb to every little cause out there. I am a body at rest. Be gone the world and its travails for I am God’s child and I have  joy. I have a stick and I put it to whimsical use. Tap, tap, tap on a rock. Away from the world and in God’s arms. I like it, this life.

 There is cause and effect in the world. Some think with Existential minds and are mired in this thought. Running in circles and never looking up. I just drew that circle with my stick, remember?  But I looked up and ran to catch up with the Lord. He is ever steady in His gait.  There is life in Jesus – real life – I am assured as I see it and live it now. I must walk straight and I shall try. But most certainly there will be a distraction. It will not hold my attention long for I am at rest and will always have hope. Whimsical I walk. But to be sure: I am serious deep down. I appreciate that God gave me grace – a gift I did not deserve. I have it and now my heart is joyful. So, I grab my stick and continue on. Wading through the cool water of a stream I look up. There is God. His eyes are smiling at His child.


October 2, 1961 4 years old

oops, I mean…

August 17, 2012 with love