Shortcuts aren’t always a good thing – The Post-Searchlight

From time to time, I come across an advertisement on television that amuses me; some even make me think a little too. I remember one from a few years ago that I found quite amusing. I don’t even know what product they were promoting, but the scene was in a motel room with a man sitting on the side of the bed wearing a hospital gown. As he spoke, a small team of people could be seen leaving the room carrying surgical equipment with them. The gentleman proudly declared, “I saved $200 by having my surgery in a motel room. I have no objection to cutting costs when reasonable, but no amount of money saved would be worth the risk this guy took! Fortunately, it was a fictional scenario.

Sometimes shortcuts are worth it, but often not. While traveling, I tried a few shortcuts that ended up costing me time and effort. Recently I worked on an old tiller to try to avoid buying a new one. the verdict is still inconclusive whether or not my choice of taking the shortcut to the parts store rather than buying a new machine was right. Time will tell us.

A few years ago, when I was preparing to work in the garden, Addy, who was quite small at the time, expressed a strong desire to help me. She intended to help me run the bar, and I didn’t have the heart to refuse her request. I started the bar and it clung to the handles as I guided it. It was awkward trying to reach a tiny little girl, guide the tiller, and keep the machine from chewing on the tender plants while I helped her “help me”. Somehow we made it without destroying what I was trying to heal and she was glad she was able to participate.

My time would have been more efficient and the work could have been of higher quality if I had done everything myself, but if I had, I would have taken a shortcut at an important time in my granddaughter’s life- daughter. Whatever time and effort it took me to let her get involved in what I was doing was time and effort well spent.

As we go through life, we sometimes try to take shortcuts in our spiritual journey, mostly trying to do things our way rather than God’s way. As many of us have discovered through personal experience, this is always a losing proposition. Proverbs 3:5-6 gives succinct little advice we can apply that will guide us to do things His way: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (New International Version). Following such divine guidance leaves no room for shortcuts. Instead, it reminds us of the value of choosing God’s way rather than following our own. The next two verses remind us again of the benefits of doing things God’s way: “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and avoid evil. It will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7-8).

What we perceive as shortcuts often aren’t, especially when it comes to our spiritual health. Even though we don’t always understand God’s ways and the road he leads us may seem long, in the end it always pays to follow him. As we progress through life, we will experience greater satisfaction in our spiritual walk if we do not seek the quick and easy shortcut, but instead seek to follow the paths God wants us to follow. His ways may not always be the easiest or the fastest, but they are always the best.

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