Tuesday, August 09, 2005

We are the Pavement

With the Lord's guidance, Steve and I had found our way. We pulled out the few small sheets of notebook paper that would serve as our guide for the adventure and studied them diligently, finally beginning to walk the steps we had plotted in our planning sessions.

I was excited to be on the ground, hiking in the steps the Lord had marked out for us. We were there, standing in the gap, physically fulfilling the purpose of all the fund-raising, physical training, constant prayer, and thousands of miles we had already traveled. I was reminded of the proverb, "In his heart, a man makes plans, but the Lord directs his steps," a verse of scripture that God would make very real to me before the trip was done.

After a few turns, we found ourselves in the middle of a vast valley. Lush mountains stood on all sides of the horizon, and we strained to see small settlements nestled in the foothills, tiny specks of brown and white against the ocean of green and blue which colored the harvest fields and the summer sky. Corn, watermelon, and rice fields extended as far as the eye could see, bound only by well-worn dirt roads that ran between the storehouses and villages.

We came to an intersection and turned left, veering onto a trail that bisected a corn field for a straight shot to our first village, which was still a mile or more away. Reaching this road, I had to stop. I wasn't tired yet; I wanted to take a picture of the path before us. Straight as an arrow with wheel tracks on both sides of its bumpy surface, it inspired me with a starling realization.

I thought about the name given to our team, the Roadmakers. Something about staring down this rugged path made me realize how unsuitable that name really was. We were not the ones making the way to the Father through the gospel. God is. Yes, he was using us to facilitate the plan he has already begun to enact among these people, but how dare we become arrogant enough to think that he needs us to complete the highway from this land to his throne, or that we could do anything of eternal significance apart from his strength.

I thanked God that he is the real Roadmaker, the one who levels mountains to bring people into relationship with him. And I thanked him for using us as the pavement, an agent which would make traffic move a little bit quicker along the narrow road that leads to righteousness.

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