Both photos were taken at 35,000 feet while I was flying to visit our daughter and her family in Mexico. The first photo is of a man-made waterway, ditch, or some other construction (from that altitude, I’m not sure what it was). All I know for sure is that the straight lines give it away as being man-made. The second photo is of a river, a winding river, and is God-made.
We humans, when going from point A to point B, like to take the shortest route, a straight line. Even if there’s a need for a change in direction we usually make it abrupt with a sharp and distinct angle, then back to a straight line to wherever we’re going. Man’s waterways, often called canals, are like this. God, on the other hand, doesn’t mind curves and turns, making his rivers wind all over the place, often nearly switching back on themselves. The second photo shows such a river.
On our journey through life we’d like to have everything unfold in an orderly fashion with every step taking us on a straight path to where we want to end up. Give us the shortest distance between our desire and our satisfaction!
God has different plans for us! The ways of the Lord are often winding.
I know, Jesus said that straight and narrow is the way of following Him. Jesus was referring to the narrowness of truth and the broadness of all that is untrue (far more things are untrue about something than are true about it, for instance, the color red has a narrow wave length range of what makes it red, but there are many color wave lengths that are not red.)
The apostle Peter said of Jesus that He “went about doing good.” (Acts 10:38) During Jesus’ three years of ministry He walked about, all around the area we now call the Holy Land. Check out the maps of the apostle Paul’s missionary journeys and you’ll see he did a lot of meandering too.
We often don’t know what the Lord is up to with us as our journey of life takes many unexpected twists and turns. But, just as a river eventually finds its way to the vast ocean, so we can trust God that His plans can unfold for us into the vastness of the ocean of His infinitely good will. We just have to go with the flow of His will, not fighting it by going upstream. Nor are we to give in to the temptation of saving ourselves some time and effort by taking the shortcut of a portage across a piece of land where it seems the stream of our life comes close to winding back on itself.
Faith is living with the bewilderment of His winding ways. When Christ bids us to come and follow Him, He calls us to meander with the Master!