Monday, February 8, 2016

When The Path Isn’t Straight and The Way Isn’t Wide


An image flashed on the screen overhead. It was a picture of a fork in the road. There was asphalt, street signs (albeit blank ones) and nary a cloud in the sky. The speaker said things like “100% certainty” “God’s way” and “straightforward.”

I wanted to stand on my chair and scream “NO.”

What she said was dangerous and deceptive.

When we hear things like this, someone needs to pull the fire alarm. We need to evacuate the building and take roll. The flames on this fire burn hot, they lick through the crowd singeing hearts and scorching lives.

We weren’t promised a rose garden.

We also weren’t promised a text book with the answers in the back that we could check our work against (at least not in this lifetime).

If God’s way was straightforward, then it would be formulaic. We wouldn’t need to think, all we would have to do is robotically and mechanically act in every circumstance.
If you are sick, thou shalt take 2 ibuprofens and get 8 hours of rest.   
If you are grieving, thou shalt read the Psalms while weeping. Thou shalt not take a walk in the soverignly created woods, seek professional help, or find comfort in friends. 

If you are struggling with a big life decision, thou shalt make the choice that puts the “i” before “e” except after “c.”

Oh, wait. Life isn’t doesn’t follow the same rules as grammar or math?

There isn’t an axiomatic commandment dictating each individual life choice?

Wouldn’t it be easier sometimes if we could just follow the recipe? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar would equal a perfect cake? (It doesn’t, don’t try that.)

We were given a guide that lays down some pretty clear black and whites: Murder? No. Lying? No. Adultery? No. But the commandments aren’t an exhaustive list. We are also told “feed my sheep” (John 21:17) “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-40) and “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

Yes, but how?? Well, He largely left the how up to us little pea brains.

The pea brains He created in His image. The pea brains that He made uniquely, not from a #9 mold.

The pea brains of which He knows the number of hairs upon our head.

Do you know the difference between a swamp and a bog? Me either. But I know that when I come to a fork in the road, that’s usually what I’m looking at. There is no smooth pavement, no painted dividing lines, no Crayola yellow sun shining roundly in the sky.

I’m usually asked to go left or go right in the blinding, driving rain. When I trudge ahead, I am not convinced beyond all doubt that I have made the correct choice. There is dirt that flies in my face and muck that gets eaten. Sometimes I don’t see light for weeks, much less days.  

What I am sure of is that He will not leave me nor forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6) He will slough with me either way. (Isaiah 43:2-7)

If you feel battered by life, if you feel slammed against the door, if when faced with a decision your innards roil and your heart heaves – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

You don’t have to feel certain, you don’t have to feel “right”. You weren’t promised that. You were promised that you would not be alone.

And that’s right where you belong.


  1. I hope you didn't have to pay money to hear that speaker...ugh.

    - K.