DayBreaks for 05/11/11 – Walking Straight
I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. – Proverbs 4:11-12
Have you ever intentionally set out to walk in a straight line? For some reason, human beings struggle to do it. There’s just something about our orientation that causes us to walk in a crooked or warped way. That’s the conclusion of Robert Krulwich, a science correspondent for NPR. In an interview on Morning Edition, Krulwich noted a study done by one Souman, a scientist from Germany, who blindfolded his subjects and then asked them to walk for an hour in a straight line. Without exception, people couldn’t do it. Of course everybody thinks they’re walking in a straight line, until they remove the blindfolds and sees their crooked path. I don’t know why it is, but we can’t do it. Perhaps it’s because something is wrong with our sense of balance, or because one side of our body is slightly stronger than the other and we push off harder with that foot, causing us to go slightly crooked with each step.
Krulwich observed, “This tendency has been studied now for at least a century. We animated field tests from the 1920s, so you can literally see what happens to men who are blindfolded and told to walk across a field in a straight line, or swim across a lake in a straight line …, and they couldn’t. In the animation, you see them going in these strange loop-de-loops in either direction. Apparently, there’s a profound inability in humans to [walk] straight.”
This has obvious parallels to our spiritual ability to walk in a straight line, too. But here’s the really interesting part: according to the research, the only one way we can walk in a straight line is not by focusing on our feet, but by focusing on something ahead of us – a building, landmark, or mountain. As long as we can keep our eyes on something ahead of us, we can make ourselves avoid our normal crooked course. Kurlwich conclusion is simply that, “Without external cues, there’s apparently something in us that makes us turn [from a straight path].” – Steve Inskeep, “Mystery: Why We Can’t Walk Straight?” NPR: Morning Edition (11-22-10)
We don’t have that great of vision to allow us to see where our footsteps, as crooked as they are, will lead us. Whenever we trust in our own vision to arrive at a destination (holiness, goodness, righteousness, etc.), we will go wrong. That’s why God said in our verse today that “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” Only God has that kind of vision to see the goal. We must let Him guide and lead us. Left to our own, we’ll only walk in circles!
PRAYER: Lead us in straight paths, O Lord, and guide us in the way that is everlasting! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple ><}}}”>
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