Friday, August 16, 2019


“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”  (Psalm 119:105 NLT)

My friend Danny went spelunking in the caves of Iowa.  The man guiding took him deep underground, then said he would lead Danny through a passageway into a spectacular chamber.  The passageway was small enough that Danny had to stoop at first.  Then as it grew still smaller, he had to get on his hands and knees.  Eventually the only way to go forward was to lay on his back and push his body forward with his feet.  Then the ceiling was so low that when he inhaled he could not move at all!  He had to stop, inhale, and exhale, and only then was his chest low enough to allow him to move.  By this point it was physically impossible to back out.  If the passageway had gotten any smaller they would have lain there and died in that cave.

Danny is a sky-diving, mountain-climbing, hang-gliding thrill-seeker, but there in that cave he felt sheer panic.  He was terrified.  He tried fighting his fear, but he kept picturing his dead body moldering in the cave.  Finally, he told his guide he was about to lose it, and the guide said, “Danny, close your eyes and listen to my voice.  I will keep talking, calmly, and guide you through this.  We will be okay.  I have been here before.  I will get you to the other side.  But you must listen to my voice.  It will not work for you to let your thoughts run wild.  Just focus on my voice.”

Danny did so.  What freed him from panic and fear was not trying hard to quit thinking fearful thoughts.  It was listening to another voice.

What voice do you listen to when you’re in the cave and it’s dark, when the ceiling is low and you can’t back out?  The Spirit longs to flow in our minds all the time.  One reason why people have found memorizing Scripture helpful is that it helps us listen to the voice of our guide when we are in the cave.  We set our minds on those thoughts that equip us for life.

-- John Ortberg in “The Me I Want To Be”


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