As I drove over the icy road, I felt the bitter cold seeping through the car window, my eyes searching the snow-covered woods of Colorado. The temperature dropped into the mid-20’s and the sun kept getting lower in the sky. Unsure of what I sought, but feeling like I was in the right place, I brought the car to a grinding stop.
My boots crunched through the snow as I entered the woods and walked toward the distant sounds of a creek rippling through the silence of the mountains. Like a tractor beam pulling me in, I wanted to find the source of those sounds, but I didn’t know how to get there.
I stood hesitating. “Where am I supposed to go?” The question circled through my mind as I made my way further into the woods. I knew God wanted to draw me closer, but I didn’t see a path, trail, map or GPS. His invitation didn’t include directions.
I saw some holes poked through the top of the snow, no bigger than my thumb print. Rabbit tracks. I followed the trail to see where it led deeper into the woods.
These tiny footprints led me all over the woods. I crouched to get under fallen logs, climbed uphill then slid downhill only to realize I was going around in a circle.
Eventually, the trail split in two directions like the top of a T. “Now which way do you want me to go?” The answer I received made me feel both frustrated and liberated.
I got to decide the path I wanted to take. I could follow the trail to the right, going back to my car where I could return to the warmth of the camp. Or, I could take the path to the left, heading downhill toward the sound of the creek and into the unknown. God left that decision up to me. I wanted to pursue a deeper desire, bigger risk, and a more intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father, so I turned left to see where the path might lead.
I found my conversation with God following that rabbit trail.
As I followed the tracks in the snow, I realized that this experience illustrated what it felt like to follow the Holy Spirit. Although I have an idea for the where I want my life to go, many times I feel like I’m moving in the opposite direction. Just like getting lost in the woods, I think “I’m just walking around in circles. I know I’ve seen that tree before.” My life hasn’t followed a straight path. It helps to remain confident in the One who is leading me.
Those questions persist even today. “Where am I going? God, what do You want me to do?” I find comfort when I reach an intersection, a decision point in my life, because I am offered an incredible opportunity. Right or left, God is with me. In the warmth or in the cold, God will be with me. I can follow the path with confidence knowing that He is beside me.