The Atajo

Maybe you’ve never heard of an atajo.


An atajo might be faster.

An atajo can seem like the right way.

An atajo has allure; it can seem better.


But an atajo is rarely God’s best path.


(At this point, I laugh a bit thinking of how you’re pronouncing the word “atajo.” Because it’s a Spanish word meaning “shortcut.” It’s pronounced ah-TAH-hoe)


My kids just watched the LEGO Ninjago movie last night. They were telling me about it. At one point, the ninjas come upon a fork in the road. One is the right path, which is “long, arduous, and enlightening.” The other is a short cut, which leads through a “possible evil skeleton graveyard.”


When my son Aspen recounted the words “long, arduous, and enlightening,” I immediately felt strengthened and compelled by the Spirit. “This is a journey you can’t rush, it’s going to be hard, but there’s light in it.”


My mind flashed back to my morning scripture reading in John 16. Verse 33 reads, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Jesus is telling us that the path will be hard. Long even. And we have the hope that the next world will not have any trouble. But even in this present world, we are entirely overcomers because He has overcome it already.


And I need that because I’m just plain tired of all this. It’s too much for the soul…until I remember that “the right path” will be “long, arduous, and enlightening.” When I forget, it’s like I show up to run a marathon and get grouchy because it’s actually hard, I’m winded, and I feel like I’m going to fall apart.


So what do we do in the waiting? Hear the words of Jesus:


Find Me

In the waiting.

Don’t rush.

Depend on

And give yourself completely to Me,

Because I love you. <3


This week, I worshiped through the classic song “Meet With Me” and was struck with the first line, “I’m here to meet with You, come and meet with me.”


The word “here” has so much significance. I typically have sung it meaning “in this worship service.” But what if we sing it meaning “at this moment in history”?


I don’t know how you’re doing, and I don’t know if you, like me, unconsciously search for a shortcut from all this craziness. But let’s say no to the atajo. (That should rhyme) Let’s continue to look to Jesus, the endurance Master. Take the right path, the long road, the one that is long, arduous, and enlightening. And let’s figure out ways to do it together.