So, you took the short cut.
Where did you end up?
Did you get all turned around and lost?
Did you try to cut corners, save time, or just get ‘er done?
A devotional by Wayne Stiles tells the story of the miraculous rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. They headed off in the opposite direction of their final destination, but God—their Guide—did this on purpose. Dr. Stiles says: “In the end, the land, the journey to it, and even God’s Word along the way came as but the means by which they would learn to know and trust Him.”
“Sometimes the shortest way is the longest way.” This phrase brought pictures from a children’s book into my head.
In The Bear Scouts—a Berenstain Bears book that I read and reread to my kids, repaired and then read and reread to my grandchildren—impetuous Papa Bear gets into all kinds of dangerous trouble by always looking for “the easy way.” The Bear Scouts lovingly and respectfully rescue him over and over again. At the end of the book, they bring him safely home.
As I grinned about the how ridiculous Papa Bear had acted, I thought about all the shortcuts I’ve tried to take in my life. Like Papa Bear, I sometimes think I know a lot more than the guidebook, and end up in a swamp full of crocodiles, falling off a log in the rapids, or making a messy, inedible pot of stew.
But the Writer of the Guidebook never leaves me in the mess I’ve made myself. He picks me up, fixes me up, and refers me to the Guidebook. Best of all, He will bring me safely home.