The Straight Road

02/04/2012 12:00
At the end of last year, my extended family in Australia, (4 couples, one 21 year old and one pet dog), spent 5 memorable days, 400 kilometers away from where my family live, in the picturesque little town of Mildura. It was a wonderfully happy time filled with lots of family togetherness, laughter, play, fun, yummy food, games galore, interesting hours of sightseeing and so much more. We returned home, fully refreshed and filled with the special joy that comes from spending meaningful days with much loved kith and kin.
The trip to Mildura from Adelaide was a 4 – 5 hour trip. What impressed me was that on our route to the little town, there were many stretches when the road ran perfectly straight. On our numerous treks of exploration in this beautiful continent Down Under, I’ve often held my breath when Shan did an overtaking act on the roads – when he had to move speedily to the wrong side of the road so we could overtake a slow moving vehicle, before we got back to our side of the road once again. Not that Shan is a bad driver. On the contrary, Shan is a very skilful driver and an expert behind the wheel. I take my wifely hat off to him. But having to briefly swing out onto the wrong side of the road (a necessity in order to overtake) somehow makes me very nervous.
On these wonderfully straight roads leading to Mildura though, I could relax. We could clearly see the road for miles and miles ahead, so I’d no doubt in my mind that we would safely overtake a slower vehicle with no danger whatsoever that another vehicle, traveling at lightning speed toward us, would suddenly emerge on our horizon
As I looked over some of our Mildura trip pictures recently, my eyes were drawn to the picture of the straight road, so I placed it as my desktop picture for the day. I gazed at it many times throughout that day and enjoyed looking at it. Straight roads are easy to maneuver aren’t they? You know what you get. You know what’s ahead of you. You know when a vehicle is approaching from miles away. No nasty surprises lurking around a bend.
As I thought about the beauty of the straight road, I also realised that with the lack of nasty surprises was also a distinct lack of adventure and thrill. Yes, the straight road seems a far safer and easier road to travel on. But then, aren’t roads with bends in them far more enchanting?
God’s gift to us is usually a road with many twists and turns. A road where His light is shed only for the next little while. Beyond that is His ken. Beyond that is God’s ‘Trust Me’ board. And we have to trust as we travel.
It may be easier to anticipate and easier to navigate a straight road through the bumpy terrain that life brings our way. But then, we’d also lose the wonderful surprise element and much of its joy. We would lose out on our happy surprises wouldn’t we?
Additionally, what would we learn of trusting God if we knew what was around the corner – or if there were no corner – only a straight long road ahead of us, boring and safe and known? That’s what kingdom living is all about – the thrill of the unknown – the joy of trusting an unknown future into the Known and Trusted Hands of a loving God.
And so – as I thought about it, I realised that I needed to keep dancing on the road, be it straight and wide or winding and narrow. Not a dance in the rain when the road ahead is straight and the path clearly visible. But instead a confident skip and a hop and a jump on a curvy road, even if I can’t see further than my nose. Because God assures me that He is leading me.
Let me dance my way through life, no matter what the road and no matter what the weather. I know whose hand I hold. And it is a sure Hand. It’s the same Hand that has guided my hand for close to four decades and has proved faithful not once but a zillion times over. He is more than worthy of my trust.
Let me trust Him!