The average American eats out between four and five times a week. That places the Stranges in the minority as we average one meal per week, which has traditionally been Friday nights at an establishment with a dependably short wait for a crowd (ten Stranges). For us, that place is Cracker Barrel. We know it well: Breakfast served all day, biscuits with butter as the appetizer, and that triangular game on the tables. Personally, that Tricky Triangle is my favorite part because I can solve it EVERY TIME, leaving my children wowed and amazed.
I can solve it unhindered and in a matter of seconds because I spent countless hours as a child discovering a pattern for success. And I’m not alone in my quest. My nephew did some wowing of his own over the holidays when he solved about fifteen different types of rubics cubes, several in less than two minutes, for all of us in my kitchen. His feat was much more amazing than my Tricky Triangle win, but the path to success is found the same way: learning patterns and using them to accomplish our goals.
David seems to understand the power of patterns in his life—routines and protocols leading to godliness as well as those down a more self-seeking and destructive route, because he asks God for help.
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. KJV
Most of the time, blatant sins do not blow into our lives unanticipated. You could say we plan for them.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. James 1:14
The winning strategy David offers is to ask God to keep us from those practices that lead wayward, to instead, “order our steps,” or for pattern-seeker like me, to guide us toward—practices, attitudes and behaviors that lead to victory.
I like the way the NIV records David’s heartfelt request
Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. NIV
Today, for you, my friend, I would like to pray this very thing.
A Prayer to Order My Steps
I thank you for the resources you have provided through the Bible to help us become faithful followers, and to give words to our minds and hearts when we might not know what to ask. Today I ask that you direct the footsteps of my friend to line up with Your Word. Show her insights of You. Teach her what it looks like to pattern her days and nights after the life of a disciple of Christ. Give her the wisdom, the strength to resist temptation to go her own way, and a way of escape when she finds herself stuck. Equip her for winning the battles against the sin that so easily entangles. And enable her to walk out the patterns and steps You illuminate. For all this we thank you.
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