Posted: March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Recently I have regularly been going to a couple of areas that are quite dusty and where the footprints of those that have been there before me can be seen in the loose layer of fine dirt that covers  the sun hardened ground like a blanket.  The footprints are only temporary as a strong wind can whisk  them away or the rain can turn them into a muddy hodgepodge and over time other footprints can obscure those that were there before so that they will no longer be seen or thought of.

I, though, often find myself thinking about those that have been here before me.  While walking along a path in the Haitian county side, I wonder about those that made the path;  about those that cut this path through the valley and up over the mountain.  How many thousands throughout the years have followed this path.  I wonder about the path that I am on and the footprints being left behind.  Will they last?  Will they matter? Will they make a difference even after I have died.

I love the response of David Livingstone, the famed medical missionary and explorer, when asked by a missionary society if he had found a good road to where he was and if so there are others that want to come.  Livingstone replied,

“If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”

There are times when God will have us  get off the path that others have cut and begin the job of cutting a new path that others will some day follow.  It will be hard and there will be times of loneliness, and fear and times when you wish for the easier path that has already been cut.  You simply follow that path  and it takes you where it goes.  When cutting a new path, the path goes where you go.  And hopefully, you go where God leads.

Proverbs 3:5,6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,  And He shall direct your paths.

Sometimes the most difficult part of cutting a new path or going in a different direction is the opposition that you face from others that you once walked with.  I’m not sure if it takes courage to brave a new path as much as a fervent desire to follow God.  I often hear people say. “Oh, I couldn’t do that, it’s too hard” or “I’m not a leader.” I pretty sure that it isn’t about being a leader as much as it is about being a follower.

I love the song Pioneer by the 70’s  singer Nancy Honeytree.  I encourage you to click on the link, close your eyes and allow God to minister to you as you listen.  And remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:24,25:

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

John McHoul

  1. Brooke R. says:

    John. That is beautiful. And, you have no idea how much I needed to read that in this moment. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. johnmchoul says:

    You don’t know how much I need to read it even though I wrote it.

  3. Sami says:

    Isn’t amazing how God uses what we are speaking or teaching, or living, or learning to minister to others AND ourselves.
    Profound. As always. 🙂

  4. Sami says:

    That song? Wow.

  5. Joanna says:

    John, your footsteps have made a huge impression in my life and I will always be grateful for you and the path you are choosing.

  6. Pattyann says:

    Totally loved this today. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Paul Beltis says:

    Thank you John! Very thought provoking & a message I need to hear. Beautiful & powerful song; never heard it before tonight. Thanks very much for sharing!

  8. Kathy says:

    I used to listen to Honeytree years and years ago… I’m not sure then I truly understood the meaning of Pioneer. It is sweet to listen to it in view of Heartline Ministries. Thank you for the wonderful post.

  9. Allison Garrett says:

    Never Heard that song before – but it has instantly become my favorite. I will tuck it away in my heart and lean on the truth in it as we walk our path following our Father. I hope to meet you in Haiti someday as we follow that path. Thanks for allowing God to speak to me through you.

  10. Lori says:

    Thank you for another well-spoken and timely word. Prov. 3:5-6 keeps crossing my “path” lately as well. Praying for direction in our path. Thanks for allowing God to use you to encourage a fellow traveler.

  11. I have been a silent blog/ministry follower and supporter for just over a year. I KNOW it’s nothing like the ministry you do, and I would never presume to say so. But I am trying my utmost to follow Him in the path He chose for me as a public school teacher in a rough school. I won’t bore you with my silly troubles as they really are nothing, but may I say this post was just exactly what I needed. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for sharing God’s word and encouragement and for giving and following God in the way He has for you. I pray for you all often!

    Would I have your permission to share a link from my journal to your blog here and this post specifically? I would love to share it, but didn’t want to do so without your permission.

    • johnmchoul says:

      Hey Rebekah,
      How awesome and challenging and difficult it must be to be on the path God has you on. We will be praying that God uses you as you endeavor to be His hands to the students He has entrusted to you. Feel free to share the link.

      • Thank you so much for allowing me to share, but most of all for you prayers. That is so amazing as you are doing such wonderful things for God. You would take time to pray for me, here. Wow! Please know I pray for Haiti, the ministry you are all doing there, and Heartline daily. I have one of the prayer bands for Haiti and my students ask me about it all the time. Love being able to share that God loves us and cares about our needs in public school. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. johnmchoul says:

    Thank you so much for your words and prayers. Please be assured that they do make a difference.

  13. lisa mitchell bennett says:

    Your path illustration really resonated with me as the daughter of a missionary bush pilot who reached remote areas where even paths couldn’t be made. I have long felt that when my road is smooth I am less able to hear God’s call and more easily distracted by the “slick” hwy of the easy life. When I am on a rugged, bumpy path God’s way is clearer.Thanks for reminding us of that! Comfort does not equal contentment!

  14. […] THE PATH « Heartline Haiti Blog I wonder about the path that I am on and the footprints being left behind. Will they last? Will they matter? Will they make a difference even after I have died. […]

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