Obstacles Along Life's Trails 




For several days the fallen tree had lain across one of our trails. Because it had taken down several strands of saw tooth briars with it, we could not conveniently go around it, so we walked to that point, then turned around and retraced our steps. Finally last Friday we took tools with us on our trail walk and removed the tree.

 Having the obstacle removed brought satisfaction. This was not the first obstacle that had fallen across one of our trails, but it was the most difficult to remove. Twigs and small branches fall regularly. I usually carry a walking stick and can flick those hindrances out of the way without bending over. Occasionally a larger dead limb comes down, though, and requires more effort to remove it. The present obstacle was a dead blackjack tree about six inches in diameter at the base and was approximately twenty- five feet tall. Took awhile to get it out of the way.

Several things can cause the obstacles we find along our trails. Box turtles even sometimes cause minor obstacles as they plow their way along dislodging insects or whatever it is they eat from the debris covering the trails. Primarily, though, it is wind that causes the obstacles. 

Obstacles in life's pathways can come from a variety of causes, too. Paul wrote about such a problem from other people: "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. (Romans 16:7 NIV). Not much doubt about how we should handle that kind of obstacle, is there? 

The writer of Proverbs also speaks of obstacles: "I will mock when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you" (Proverbs 1:27). Interestingly, this is part of a passage in which wisdom is speaking. Wisdom is promising not to answer, when ignoring wisdom in the first place brought the obstacles. An interesting concept. It suggests that we may cause our own problems and obstacles by ignoring the wisdom that God has given us. 

Sometimes obstacles and whirlwinds do come without being caused from our ignoring of wisdom or any apparent punishment meted out to us by God. Many of the obstacles in our life's pathway do, though, like the twigs, limbs, and even trees blown into our wooded trails, come into our lives because we ignore the wisdom God has given us in His Word and continues to give us daily by His Spirit. Don't ignore it!