Think carefully about the course your life is taking. If you choose the right path, your life will be spiritually successful and things will turn out right for you.
The path of right and just living is a lighted path, and as you travel it, it becomes more and more apparent than you’re on a good path, and you become more certain of its virtue—all the way to its resplendent end on the perfect day (or maybe, the day of your perfecting).
The other path, the wrong path, is dark. It’s like walking in the woods on a moonless night. Those who choose this path trip and stumble along, never quite knowing what they have tripped over, and it just goes on like that until its dark end. This is the path you want to avoid. Just walk right on by, don’t even go a little ways to see what it’s like.
There are no rest stops on the dark path; the people on it are nonstop grieving and hurting each others. What pit stops there are provide only energy bars and drinks to fuel more evil and violence.
Please, as your father I’m advising you to go on the path I’ve walked—the path I’m teaching you to navigate, the path of wise and right living.
There are no trip hazards on this path. You can even break into a run without fear of falling. Stay on this path. Don’t turn from it to the left or the right. Keep your feet on this path and far from the dark path. Set your GPS with path of life coordinates—no U-turns and no detours.
End of Scripture
And now to explain my hokey illustration. I think you can see there are the two paths described, as rendered with my kindergarten-level command of the Paint program. Depending on your theology, you may or may not agree that we all start in a green neutral zone where we have a choice to select one path over the other. The urgings in the proverbs to choose the right path and stay on it sure seem to indicate a choice. I depicted the paths as diverging, rather than running parallel (and surely not intersecting!) with some clear footpaths of doubt and unfaithfulness running off the light path, but becoming less likely to actually connect to the dark path the further along one goes. This is in no way a theological statement about the possibility of changing paths, but it’s just to say that when you’re convinced you’re on the right path, the field of daisies may still draw your attention, but the path you have come to love calls you back with its beacon light.
On the dark path, few think about looking for another way early on, since it’s a real adrenaline high to be in the woods at night tripping over stuff in what seems like good company. Oooo, scarey, fun! But it loses its appeal on the long haul, and then there’s lots of experimentation to try to find another path. But being the best trod and all you’ve ever known, the dark path draws you back. Finally, I included a straight and narrow, mysterious way to get to the path of light from the dark path. There’s an angel at the sign post. I hope you didn’t miss it.