The excitement built as Toto and I watched the eclipse sweep across the nation via my TV screen. Soon we were moments away from peak time, 2:24 p.m. right in my own backyard. I was ready. Solar glasses were in place. Toto was secured safely inside. Clouds were cooperating. I waited for darkness to set in – for something to happen.
As I watched and waited, the peak time passed with little fanfare – possibly a slight haze, but nothing dramatic. Even though what I viewed from my ridiculously priced paper glasses was cool and certainly a reminder of God’s awesomeness, I felt like I had missed something. I was close but not quite there. It was then that it sunk in, and I began to understand why millions of people drove for days, flew from all over the world, and made an intentional effort to be in what was coined as the “Path of Totality.” Being off of that path, even by 9 percent like I was, completely changed the effect.
Reflecting and watching the highlights of those left in awe after experiencing a total eclipse reminded me of my own path. Am I on the right course or off just a bit? Even headed in the right direction? Ironically, this summer I have been fervently pursuing the answers to these questions and am more conscious of the trajectory of life and how my decisions affect it. Through the pages of a book, The Will of God as a Way of Life, I have found convicting advice for setting an intentional direction for my days ahead. “In our Christian journey we can face a variety of circumstances in life, whether planned and pleasant or unplanned and miserable, and still set a course for our lives that propels us toward God,” author Jerry Sittser wrote. “The decision to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness forbids setting a direction for our lives that dishonors God ... precludes complacency, immorality, and relativism.”
Many things can take me off course, enabling me to drift away from God – busyness, distractions, social media, cultural norms, voices surrounding me. Staying on God’s path takes not only prayer, biblical guidance, and a supportive community, but also a decision to seek God first above everything else. As I do, my path will unfold before me and my next steps will be more clearly visible – no funky glasses required. My own path of totality will be revealed, one aligned with God’s plan that ushers in an abundant life. And the best part is that it will lead to a grand finale ending, not darkness but an eternal light – Heaven.
Even though I may have missed out this time around, I will have another opportunity in seven years when the next solar eclipse’s “Path of Totality” will actually travel right through my own town – Indianapolis. Until then, I’m saving my glasses and will be focused on seeking God and His plan for my life every single day.
My Path of Totality awaits!