My dog Whitaker and I like to take early-morning walks through the woods. He runs ahead while I amble along, meditating or praying. I know where we’re going; he’s not sure. I stay on the trail and he trots ahead—sniffing, investigating, and taking occasional forays into the forest to chase real or imagined chipmunks.

Though Whit is ahead, I’m leading. Every so often he checks to see where I am. If I’ve turned back toward home or gone on to another trail, I hear his pounding feet and panting breath as he races to catch up with me. If I hide behind some brush, he runs to the last place he saw me and tracks me down. Then we walk the trail together again.

It’s like that with God’s leading. He knows the way because He has prepared the way. But sometimes we may not see Him—so we do our best to go where He wants by following the guidance of His Word. Other times it may seem as if He is hidden from us. His pace may not be as fast as we would like, or we wish He would slow down.

Just as Whitaker keeps looking back at me, we need to look to God and His Word at every important juncture we come to. We must rely on the direction of His Spirit.

That’s what I thought about today while I was walking with Whitaker.