I spotted one on the kitchen counter, killed it and cleaned up the area. The next day there were more. Ants had invaded my home. I couldn’t determine just how they got into the house, but they were there. Day after day, I spotted those determined little creatures looking for a meal all headed to my kitchen. I didn’t like them tracking through my home, invading my space, bringing in outside dirt and possible diseases. I bought ant traps thinking that would get rid of those persistent, tiny little invaders. And, for a little while it seemed like things were under control, ant sightings were down and I was relieved. But, soon they would return, and they always brought friends – unwanted friends, all marching across my kitchen floor, following pretty much the same path. Back to the store I would go in search of something else to eliminate these persistent little pests, while trying to make sure that my beloved dogs were not poisoned in the process. Yet, I still couldn’t determine just how these little pests were getting into my home. Then one day, I found their entry way, they had found a tiny little space under the door which lead into the family room of my home and came through the area, under the carpet and padding. No wonder I couldn’t spot them! Once, identified, we shored up the area, pulled up the carpet (it was time for that carpet to go anyway), and eliminated food sources for them. Then they were gone – much to my relief.
Ants are fascinating creatures, always busy, always working, always contributing to the colony, and always working together. They have an admirable work ethic and great preservation skills. However fascinating and admirable they are, I much prefer that they persevere in some other location far away from my abode. Watching ants work, and learning about them can be pretty interesting. How do they know where the food is? How do they tell their friends where to go? You see them pretty much all marching along the same line, seldom deviating from it. Certain ants, known as scout ants, perform the function of searching out food sources for the colony. They forge ahead of everyone else, perhaps in a similar manner that scouting parties in the old west searched out the best trails for the wagon train to follow. In a sense the scout ant creates a map, or route of sort, by laying down a pheromone while they search for food. Once found, the scout secretes more pheromones while they take food back to the colony. They blaze a trail for the good of the colony to follow – and follow that pheromone trail they do. Soon that one little ant you saw a few days ago, turns into an invading army that you can’t possibly ignore.
Blaze a trail – hmmm. Whether I notice it or not, I too am blazing a trail for myself, and others to follow. You do too. We can travel in many different directions – to the left, to the right, forwards, backwards, towards good, or towards destruction. And those who are nearest to us, our families, our children, our friends, our spouses, even acquaintances will notice the trail that we are blazing. They will be influenced, and some will follow. Once you realize that others are watching, others are following, you face an awesome responsibility. What you say, what you do matters. What trail am I blazing for myself, and what are the consequences? But, maybe even more importantly, what trail am I blazing for others who will come after me?
For me, that’s where my relationship with God is important. God’s Word includes intimate knowledge and wisdom on blazing the right trail – the trail that leads to love, and life everlasting. Our guidebook, the ultimate guidebook, shares incredible stories of Trail Blazers of faith – Abraham, Noah, Moses, David, Daniel, Isaiah, Deborah, Rahab, Ruth, Jeremiah, John, Paul, Peter – and most of all Jesus. All but Jesus, were flawed people, just as I am flawed, and yet they blazed a trail for us – a trail of righteousness, a trail of salvation. That’s the trail that I want to blaze too. How about you?
Blaze your trail – others will follow.
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6, NLT