Following the Dust

Recently on a family vacation, I took my first ride in a UTV(utility task vehicle) which is a four-wheeler two-seater version of an open off-road recreational vehicle. We (Dennis and I) had helmets, goggles, masks, seatbelts, and much trepidation as we were instructed to trail a line of other UTVs ahead of us. We were sort of in the middle of the group, and we were told to just follow the dust.

At first we didn’t know what that meant until we accelerated appropriately in our designated route. Then we understood. We were in a desert climate which meant that sand and dust were the substance of our path and would be kicked up in our faces by the next guy in line. Follow the dust—of the vehicle directly in front of us.

There were times when the dust was all we could see. We didn’t have a clear visual on the vehicle in front of us, nor of the trail beyond it. We literally were pointing ourselves toward all we could see. When the vehicles slowed down or stopped, we could see everything clearly. In the fray, however, our vision was just dust. Yet we continued to follow it.

Maybe I’m straining too much to make this a spiritual metaphor, but I saw this as a message about days ahead. It may seem like I’m in a dust cloud with no idea where I’m going or what’s around the next corner. However, this scripture reminds me what I’m supposed to do. Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will direct your paths.

It may seem like a dusty road you’re on. It may seem impossible to figure out where you’re going—especially where God wants you to end up. But I think that is exactly how to follow Him. Be ready to believe that His path, even when it is occluded, is still for your good and unique to you. God is speaking to ancient Israel at the time this is written, but I believe He speaks to us now. Jeremiah 29:11 says,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

He’s got this—even when you feel that you’re going nowhere in a cloud of dust.

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