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by Tom Norvell
One of the places I like to jog is a trail behind a church not far from our home. The trail is a peaceful place with trees along three sides and a playground on the fourth. Inside the track is a ball field and a lush green field guarded by Please Keep Off the Grass signs. There is seldom anyone else on the track when Im there, which allows me to make my five or six laps without bothering, or being bothered, by anyone.
One day while making the first turn, I noticed that the actual gravel covered trail makes a pretty sharp, almost ninety-degree, turn to the left. Apparently, like myself, several others have literally rounded the corner. To save three or four steps (which can be a lot when you feel like you cannot take one more step) walkers and runners have cut the corner so often that the alternative route looks like it is as popular as the real trail. As I found myself cutting the corner on every lap I began to think that there are times when Im glad we can cut corners, and times when Im glad we dont cut corners. (If you jog you understand why I think about things like this.)
Im glad I can cut the corner when Im late for an appointment. Im glad I can cut the corner on certain golf holes. Im glad when I can cut corners in finishing a project. Sometimes cutting corners is a good thing
Spiritually, there are not many situations in which you will want to cut corners. Dont cut corners when it comes to loving God. He said, Love me with your all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Dont be cutting corners when it comes to prayer. He said, Pray without ceasing. Dont cut corners when it comes to sharing the Good News. He said, Go into all the world and make disciples. Dont cut corners when it comes to your relationship with the Lord. He said, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.
When you are jogging and find a corner that will save you a few steps, it is probably all right to cut the corner. When it comes to your spiritual life, you will do well to stay on the true path, even though it may not be as wide or well-traveled. Its the one path on which you dont want to cut corners!
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