He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Ps. 23:3)

WHY DO WE NEED GUIDANCE as we travel life’s road? Isaiah said, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (Isa. 53:6).

And why do we go astray? That’s what happens when we don’t watch the Shepherd. Assuredly, there are many distractions in life and plenty of other things to follow. The world is full of notions, ideas, and people who beckon us to follow them.

We also go astray when we fail to listen to the Shepherd’s voice. The prophet Elijah learned that God’s voice may come as a quiet whisper. After the wind tore the mountain apart, an earthquake shook with all its fury and confusion, and a fire came with its heat and roar, Elijah heard a gentle whisper. It was the voice of God. Many things may jar us; listen for God’s gentle voice of guidance.

We will certainly go astray if we follow the wrong path. When faced with a fork in the road, God’s clear direction may be, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isa. 30:21). But we may say, “I’d rather try this other way for a while.” That’s when we get lost.

The psalmist testified, “He guides me in the paths of righteousness” (Ps. 23:3). You can depend on His guidance. You can trust His leadership. He will never lead you astray.

There are many distractions. Keep your eyes on the Shepherd.

Ron McClung, who works at his denomination’s world headquarters, lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons, nine grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters