There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change.

William Stafford

I love these words, quoted above, offered by the poet William Stafford in his poem, “The Way It Is.” The image of the thread that William Stafford shares with us in this poem is so helpful to me, and I hope it is to you, too. Particularly in these tumultuous times in which we find ourselves, I think it is important for each of us to have a thread to follow that doesn’t change, a thread that we hold on to without ever letting go. For many of us, that is our faith in God. It is a thread that guides us through these confusing times.

On the very day that William Stafford died, he wrote: “You don’t have to prove anything,” my mother said. “Just be ready for what God sends.” How true that is! And the way to be ready for that is found by holding onto our faith, by holding onto our God, who offers us the thread that never changes. Let’s make sure that we never let go of that thread!

Opening Prayer

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. In you, O God, I place my trust. Help me now to quiet myself and listen, that the thoughts and prayers of my heart might be pleasing to you. Amen

Psalm: Psalm 37:23-29

Our steps are made firm by the Lord,
    when he delights in our way;
though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
    for the Lord holds us by the hand.
I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
They are ever giving liberally and lending,
    and their children become a blessing.
Depart from evil, and do good;
    so you shall abide forever.
For the Lord loves justice;
    he will not forsake his faithful ones.
The righteous shall be kept safe forever,
    but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land,
    and live in it forever.

Scripture Readings

All our steps are ordered by the Lord; how then can we understand our own ways? – Proverbs 20:24

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. – Matthew 7:13-14

Devotional Poem: The Way It Is by William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

Closing Prayer

O Lord, who guides our every step, help us to follow your way, the safe, narrow way of salvation. Help us, when life gets confusing, to hold onto this thread, to hold onto our faith and trust in you. Help us to follow you, trusting that you will keep us safe forever. And when we stumble, as we all do, remind us that we will not fall headlong, because of your promise to take us by the hand and hold us in your steadfast love. In Jesus’ name. Amen

8 thoughts on “The Thread We Follow

  1. This reminds me of a wonderful children’s book called “The Invisible String.” It is about those we love being connected to us by the invisible string called love. I used that book for children when someone died. It is wonderful! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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