Friday, January 16, 2015

The Righteous Road

When I cleared my agenda for being “All In” for God’s plan, I didn’t think that included jury duty.  Not that I mind, but it sure made it difficult with keeping appointments.

My New Year’s “not a resolution” (but it really is), was to make things simple in my life so I would be open to the Lord’s plan.  So that’s what I’ve been doing, and for some reason it meant spending time in a courtroom.
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Juror Ready

Looking over the instructions on what we were to do I was prepared for the long haul in serving as a juror.  My “suitcase” (which is my pocketbook) was packed with almost anything I would need including water, grapes, Belvita biscuits, a book and writing tablet. 
Having done this before it wasn’t a big deal, so I planned on going with the flow of whatever God wanted for me that day.  I was ALL In and all His. 

The official letter instructed us to wear warm clothing because it was cold in the courthouse, so I did.  That meant wearing my warmest hot pink coat and rainbow colored sneakers.  I looked like an Easter bunny, while most everyone else wore black. 

When I arrived I was number 37 on the list of 40.  A rather frantic looking woman showed me where to go pointing to the basement in the building.  I had heard about that particular cellar from a friend who worked there, and all sorts of things went through my mind.  Was it dark and creepy?  Were there rats or spiders?  

I proceeded slowly down the stairs looking back at my husband waving good-bye. What kind of man was he … at least he could have walked down there with me to make sure it was safe.  Nope, he just sat there on a bench. 
Single File
On the right I saw open double doors.  To my surprise the room was packed.  Looking at their faces they all seemed to be in a funk and afraid.  It was absolutely silent.  Having their attention, automatically I went into teacher mode and stretching out my arms proclaimed, “People, nothing has happened yet!” 

Standing at the front of the room I felt as if I should begin class as the students glared at me waiting for instruction.  They loosened up and laughed and I made my way to a seat. 

The room was actually rather nice with at least a dozen very lovely photographs on the walls.  There was even a place set aside as the “Wall on Honor” with one photo of a gentleman.  It seemed peculiar that the halls in the rest of the building were plain and the basement was flourishing with d├ęcor.  

I found myself sitting behind a lady that was disheveled and all I could think about was if I should pull the lint out of her hair.  Thirty minutes later the frantic lady reappeared, calling out our names clarifying that we needed to line up in the order she mentioned. 

For some reason I was number four. After she called my name I started walking to get in position when another lady got in line in front of me. 
“You must stay in line the way I call you.  She is ahead of you.” The woman reiterated.  Then we were told to line up in order on the steps.  All of a sudden I felt like a kid in school again recalling the times I did the same thing to my classes. 

Single file we ascended to the second floor where court would be held.  Before entering the courtroom we had to go through the metal detector.  I thought for sure my “suitcase” would go off, but it didn’t thankfully. 
Should I Be Here?
For the next few hours the lawyers went over their questions.  The judge asked us if anyone felt they couldn’t serve because they would fall asleep, if so they should let him know. 
A quick comic picture of everyone's head tilted back with their mouths wide open and snoring came to mind. 
I couldn’t help thinking that because one of the lawyers was monotone like actor Ben Stein’s character when he played a teacher on the 1980's TV show, “The Wonder Years”. 

Then one lawyer asked, “Do any of you think this woman is guilty already?”  Of course, as soon as he said that we all looked at her and thought she was based on what we heard.  That wasn’t good! 

I started wondering if I wouldn’t be fit to serve when one of the questions was whether or not we felt religion would prevent us from judging someone. 
Quietly I prayed, “OK Lord, I’m here willing to be used by You in whatever way You wish. If this is something that You need me to do then let me know which path I should take in responding.” 

“Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths.

Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

for Your are the God of my salvation;

on You I wait all the day.”  (Psalm 25:4-5 NKJV)  


“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God;

Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” (Psalm 143:10NKJV) 

Right after the judge made that statement he said, “You will not be making the ruling, but weighing evidence as to whether or not this woman should be judged according to the law. Her sentence will be made by me.” 
That was my answer and God graced me with peace. I was open to His will, and sat back as I waited to see how God would use this situation.

Upstairs Downstairs

After we returned from our second break the lawyers had made their decision.  They selected nine women with kids, and three men within the 30ish age range (except one grandmother) of the defendant. The single mom question was sort of a give away as to what they wanted.

When all the names were called the rest of us were released.  Not hearing my name I just smiled and wondered what lesson I was to gain from this.  Hopefully I didn’t miss it by not getting the lint ball out of the lady's hair. 

The entire time my husband waited for me. He had no idea when we would be finished and I couldn’t call to let him know.  At first he sat in the lobby because it was too cold to wait in the car.  Later he went outside to the car because it was so cold inside. 

Something I thought was strange was that there was a Bible on a podium in the lobby. He grabbed it to help occupy his time. 

While I was upstairs, God was doing something in the downstairs corridor with my husband.  He struck up a conversation with a young man who was rather distraught and upset that his wife was called to jury duty.  They were moving the next day to another state and this was messing up their plans. 

We realized that God needed me to be in that courtroom for a number of hours so it would free up my husband.  The Lord allowed him to be in position to witness, comfort and talk to a young man who needed direction about the grace of God. 

God sometimes uses us so He can work through someone else.  We need to be ALL In and ready for whatever it is and whatever path God needs us to take for Him.

This Week’s Challenge:
The Right Path - Be On It

We don’t need to travel our journey alone and we don’t always need to know where we’re going as long as it’s with God.
Being "ALL In" for God means we have to believe and trust Him on the roads He’ll have us take.  Some may be easier than others, but know He will always be with you each step of the way.

So this is what God’s saying. Forget your lists, your time limitations and expectations. Let go of the agenda of how you think you will serve the Lord.  It’s time to enjoy the journey and be still as He speaks.  He will let you know what it is, as long as you stay open to His direction.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)

Walking the Righteous Road doesn't mean we judge others and tell them how to live.  It's learning to live right ourselves as the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  It's listening to God so we'll be on the right path at the right time.

If there is a path you need to walk, pray and believe that God will grant you His grace, mercy and favor as you find your way in serving.  You will be overwhelmed with peace knowing the direction you take is the right(eous) one. 
Until next time, God’s path favors us with peace.


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“You’ll always find Me on the Right path.”

Jesus Christ

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
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