COLLECT OF THE WEEK
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. - Book of Common Prayer, p. 219
My grandfather was a cotton broker who traveled around Texas buying cotton. On one occasion (around 1920) he had to travel through the Big Bend country of west Texas. To do that, he knew he should check in at the Texas Ranger station on the edge of the Big Bend. As a Texan, he knew that he should always have faith in the Texas Rangers. The Rangers gave him a map with strict instructions. They said to follow this one path and he would find his way safely to the other side. They warned him that there were several other trails, and that others before him had gone down those side trails and become hopelessly lost or died. He followed their instructions. It was a hard trail and some of the other trails looked like much easier going; but he trusted the Rangers. They had his best interests at heart. He came out safely on the other side of the Big Bend and checked in at the Ranger station there. Those Rangers were thrilled to see him! They said that too many people had ignored their warnings and he was one of the few who had listened.
Jesus provides us with a clear path to follow Him. There is not any other path to God. Jesus asks us to listen, and to follow His path. Do not let anybody or anything lead you down a side path, no matter what. Jesus said “I am the gate, whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”