He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Notes from the book: The book's author, Charles L. Allen, writes of God's direction. Like a shepherd, He guides, he does not "drive" His sheep as would a cattle rancher. When decisions have to be made...which road to take, which path to choose...the shepherd guides.
Mother's Notes in the Margins: Tsid Kenue. God, our Righteousness.
My Notes: When I was in Israel in 2007, my dear friend and coauthor of Reflections of God's Holy Land; A Personal Journey Through Israel, Miriam Feinberg Vamosh pointed to the circular paths that wound around verdant hills. She said, "These are circular paths, made by the shepherds leading their sheep in a safe manner."
The paths don't lead up or down. The poor sheep, with their poor vision, would become afraid. Or worse, fall to their deaths.
Miriam said, "When David wrote about paths of righteousness, he was talking about circular paths."
Wherever God leads, there is safety.
I think now of that moment when my brother Van and I were led into that little, nicely-decorated room and given the bad news of Mother's current and future condition and what the doctors expected, which was the worse. I remember how I felt as I walked behind the doctors and in front of Van. It didn't seem real, and yet it was very much so.
I had gone online the day before and studied everything I could about Mother's condition and about the signs and symptoms I'd recorded from the medical personnel. I already knew about the Glascow Coma Score. I knew the brain damage was severe.
What I didn't know was why. Why had God brought us to this place, to hear this news. Would God, I wondered, lead us down a path in which Mother, who loved life and the living of it, could be solely dependent on one of us for her every need?
I said to my brother, "What I fear more than her dying, is her living."
For two days, we continued to allow God to guide. The path chosen was that he would take her Home to be with Him. And now, without her as our maternal and spiritual guide, we continue to follow Him in the days, weeks, months and years we are left without her.
I re-read that passage after taking my notes. He leads me in circular paths for righteousness sake.
Tside Kenue, Mother wrote. God, our righteousness.
So what if God leads us down those circular paths in order to bring about his own plan of righteousness or for righteousness sake? What was gained out of all this?
Mother reached her eternal reward, yes.
But Van and me? We are a little more spiritually wise, a little more spiritually broken. But I don't think we will fully know for a while yet all that God had/has in mind.
After all, the sheep don't know they are on a safe path or where that path will lead. They only know to follow their shepherd; that he will care for them, guide and direct them, along the way. We can ask for no more from our Shepherd, can we?
Proverbs 3:6: In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct they paths.