A person can give me directions... but that doesn't mean I can follow them! I have no internal GPS and on days when I don't feel good or I am deep in thought, I can suddenly realize I'm in Timbucktu when... I meant to be in Cabot...
I suppose I will have to bow to the "inev" as Bertie Wooster would say, and buy a GPS. I know the rest of the Western World has them already. But honestly, I'm still trying to figure out how to make my Kindle Fire work. (Somedays I just long for an electric highlighter that I can hold in my hand.. .sigh... and run over the words I want to shade. Yellow, blue, pink felt tips that occasionally bleed through the pages... I miss them!)
But I digress...
What I really want is not an impersonal GPS saying "Turn left" but a flesh-and-blood guide. When I go into a gas station to ask for directions, the words, "I am going that way myself... Just follow me." - although seldom heard - are like music to my lost ears. I want a guide - someone I can see moving ahead of me.
But I digress again...
It's that kind of a day apparently :)
My point is this - when Jesus (through Paul) tells us to walk by faith and not by sight and when James tells us to have a faith that works, that doesn't help me a lot. I need to see it in the flesh. I know Jesus lived it out here on earth. But He was perfect. Sometimes I just need to see an imperfect fellow traveler faith-walking before me, taking God at His word and living that Word out in daily life.
Hebrews 11 is exactly that - the examples on the page - showing what the instructions are trying to tell you. I love that chapter and refer to it frequently. Coupled with James 2 - the instructions - I pretty much have what I need in order to know how to faith walk through this life.
But God graciously goes above and beyond by allowing me to see others who are way ahead of me in faith walking. Parents who have adopted a son who is blind and far behind age-level in motor skills development. They are doing an awesome job. A couple who have been in ministry for 30 years, opening their home to countless internationals and leading others to do the same. I'm grateful - truly thankful - to know them. A young (by my standards!) couple who have served God in various, often difficult locations through music, teaching, counseling and leading by example - and who are now transitioning to an unknown future, trusting Him to continue doing for them what He has done in the past, just this time without a guaranteed salary. A person whose mobility is sorely limited as time goes by but whose faith soars on the printed page day by day. Although life appears to be limiting her, it just can't be done. Parents (more than one set) who have turned the loss of a child into an avenue of blessing for many others. On and on the list goes.
Walking by faith. It's there on the printed page, spelled out for me - James 2 (instructions) + Hebrews 11 (how-to examples). But it's also written in the lives around me.
As if, on the days when I am standing around looking (and feeling) lost, they are beckoning to me - saying, "Come on! I'm going that way myself!"