“When you come to a fork in the road… take it!” So advised Yankee catcher Yogi Berra in another of his famous “Yogisms”. In characteristic Yogi phrasing, he was telling teammate Joe Garagiola the way to his house. That’s pretty good advice when you come to a fork in life’s road: you can’t just sit there! But how do you know which road to take? You do have to choose. Sometimes it feels like your whole life and future hinge on which way you take. But with God’s help you can make the right good choice.
The psalmist David had come to many forks in the road of life, and in Psalm 37:5 he counsels in choosing the right way. David is the voice of experience in walking with God when he says: “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” This was a verse often quoted by missionary doctor and explorer David Livingston as he journeyed through uncharted regions of nineteenth-century Africa. It was a verse often guiding Dr. Livingston when he came to a fork in the road. And it is a verse that can help through uncharted journeys of life.
Let’s look at the word “Commit” in David’s advice. It is a translation of the Hebrew galal, having the basic meaning “to roll”. It was frequently used in the Old Testament for rolling a stone over a well, or, rolling along a heavy burden. David is talking about rolling the weight, the burden, onto the Lord in choosing the right way to go. Take the weight off and roll it onto God. Take the weight of your future, the burden of having to choose the right way, and commit it to God. It is a great word picture of taking all your hopes, plans, and dreams, and ‘rolling’ them onto God.
When you commit your way to God, then David says: “trust in Him.” The Hebrew word translated “trust” is batach, meaning “to cling to” or “to throw oneself onto”. So as you commit your way to God, you cling to Him in trust, throwing yourself onto Him. Then, David says, “he will act”. Your committal to God and trust in Him sets God into action. He prepares the way ahead.
David’s son, Solomon, must have learned something from his father about committing one’s way to the Lord. Solomon writes in Proverbs 16:3: “Commit [galal] your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” This reminds me of a wise friend who says: “If God is your co-pilot, switch seats!” Entrust your whole life to God. Roll the weight of your future onto His faithful shoulders and cling to Him. And, as David says, “he will act”.
Name and reflect on the thoughts and feelings today’s reading stirs in you. Take a few moments to talk with God about them.