I’ve been thinking about the changing of seasons a lot lately. Maybe it’s because the air finally feels a little more crisp here in Florida, or the leaves have begun to transform their colors from deep green to warm oranges and vibrant reds. Seasons always indicate something different, something unique based on its timing and location.
The uniqueness of seasons is pretty fascinating. For instance, the leaves of a poplar tree usually change to a light golden yellow, an oak tree changes to orange and a sugar maple changes to a mixture of red, orange and yellow.
Not only did God instill these wonderfully distinct aspects into His creation, but He also created us in the same way. We are each unique with our own set of “colors and hues” and we can display these back to Him based on our own individual design.
Have you ever put serious thought into how you express your “colors” back to the God who created you? In doing so, it brings Him praise and honor and glory, all of which develops a “pathway” that allows us to feel closer to Him by being exactly who we were created to be.
I recently came across a chapter describing different pathways in a book called, “Courageous Leadership” by Bill Hybels. It said, “Sacred pathways are like doors that open into a room where we can feel particularly close to God. Just as different leaders [people] have many different personalities, so they have many different spiritual pathways.”
I wanted to share these with you in hopes that you will identify your own pathway, and in doing so revitalize your walk with God, as it did mine. Or if you haven’t yet found the hope and love offered by Jesus, maybe these will spark some curiosity for you to explore a journey to find His pathway to peace.
- The Relational Pathway – When studying the Bible with other fired-up followers of Jesus, you come away enriched and impassioned. When you work together with a team, serving is one of the greatest joys of your life. When you praise God publicly with other believers, your worship becomes twice as meaningful. You connect best with God when you are doing it with others.
- The Intellectual Pathway – Your mind must be fully engaged before you can make significant spiritual progress. You may like to do in-depth study or read intellectually stretching books. For you, once your mind is fully convinced, your heart will quickly follow and your convictions will be rock solid. It’s quite possible that the apostle Paul was like this. For him, the transformation of the world depended on the “renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). Love God with all your mind and watch what happens with your daily union with Him.
- The Serving Pathway – You are a doer. You feel closest to God when you are volunteering and helping others. You feel most centered and joyful when you are showing God’s love to others through acts of service. Helping to accomplish the work of God makes you feel alive in Christ.
- The Contemplative Pathway – For you, just being alone with God is enough. You can spend hours reflecting on the goodness of God and have an enormous capacity for prayer and private worship. You may not need lots of relationships or activities, but give you a Bible, a piece of literature, a poem and a journal and you can disappear for days. This time in solitude is what opens the door for you to experience the presence of God.
- The Activist Pathway – You love a fast pace and a highly challenging environment that pushes you to the absolute edge of your potential. You feel closest to God when you have wrung out every last drop of your emotional, physical and spiritual potential. When you’re out on a limb of faith and the only hope for victory is divine intervention is when you feel like you come into God’s presence.
- The Creation Pathway – You grow and relate to God best when you are surrounded by nature. You come alive from head to toe when you are surrounded by natural splendor. It dramatically increases your awareness of God by seeing the beautiful works of His creation.
- The Worship Pathway – Music creates the atmosphere where you fully open your heart to God and you feel His Spirit. This can be done with others in church or privately. You enjoy listening to worship CDs and letting your heart overflow in praise to God through song. David, the author of many of the Psalms, was someone whose primary pathway to God was through worship.
Some of us may identify with several of these, while some with only a couple. I pray that you have been able to identify your pathways that expresses your unique “colors” back to God. Once you have found them, pursue them and also learn to appreciate all the different pathways, even if it’s not the one you were made for. In doing so, your colors will become more brilliant and more vibrant than ever before.