The 3000ft mountain summit was not welcoming. The walkers sat tight to the cairn in the thick damp mist, holding their cups of steaming liquid to warm their fingers.
As they finished the drinks and sandwiches, each drew out his map and compass, checking carefully their return route back to the car park. The visibility was low, with the cloud thickening. It was going to be a nasty walk down the chosen ridge.
It was then that a lone walker came through the mist, and with relief sat down and unpacked his flask and sandwiches. Of course, there began the usual "craic" and "banter" that always happens when people meet in such remote and wild places.
During this pleasant, but cold, and damp interlude, the newcomer saw the maps and compasses out. "Oh," said the new acquaintance, "I don't carry a map or compass, as I have this natural sense of direction." With that remark, the new friend picked up his rucksack, and walked off into the mist heading back to his car.
The group later heard that he had come down on the wrong side of the mountain. Here was a man who knew where he wanted to go; but here was a man who took the wrong way, and thereby put himself at risk of losing his life.
How easy to know you want to have true and lasting happiness. And how easy for a man or woman to take the wrong way. Why? Because of their strong opinions and that of their friends, ignoring the map and compass of life – God's Holy Word.
It is a busy road. "For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:" (Mat 7:13
The good path I write of is narrow, taking us through life, through death, and into heaven. The way is set down in John chapter 14 and verse 6, and spoken of by Jesus Christ, "I am the way, ... no man cometh unto the Father, but by (through) Me."
Why is Jesus "the way"? Because He is the Son of God, who became a man. Peter said, speaking for Jesus' disciples, "And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69) He is both God and man.
Why did He become a man? So He may live a life without sin. "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Why was that necessary? So that He, the Sinless, might endure God’s judgment on the sin of others, instead of you and I having to bear it ourselves. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." (1 Peter 3:18)
How did he do this? By His suffering, shedding His blood. By this sacrificial act, He became the substitute for condemned sinners. "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)
How do I find this path in the mists of life? "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23) "For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)
How will I know that I am on the path? "And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them". (Isaiah 42:16) If you are in doubt, call on God to keep His promise.
How do I know the pathway is safe? "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." (Proverbs 12:28)