Take The Long Way Home
When I was a kid and used to read the comics in the newspaper, one of my favorites was Family Circus, created by Bil Keane.
Keane would often run comics that depicted the circuitous paths that his son Billy would take on the way home from the bus stop, to the mailbox, or a short cut with his grandma.
Here's one that I found today that shows Billy's journey from bed to bus:
I often find myself asking my 8-year-old son where he is going when he heads off in the wrong direction on an errand. I want him to move in straight lines, but he seems programmed to do the exact opposite.
At what age do we lose the desire to take a long way home?
I think it happens slowly over time as we grow busier and busier, and so full of ourselves and our abilities.
At some point, we stop longing to wander. We don't get lost anymore. And when we do, we immediately pull out our smartphones to show us the way.
And this inability to make the road by walking affects our life of faith, I'm learning. I think too many Christians take Jesus' wonderfully poetic words about the "straight and narrow" pathway too literally.
I believe that he simply meant that it wasn't the easiest path to follow, but I don't believe for a minute that Jesus wanted us to believe that following him is a linear process, utterly devoid of twists and turns.
Lord knows my faith journey has been anything but straight and narrow. It looks a lot like the cartoon above, truth be told.
I read the most amazing line today from Brendan Kennelly's poem "John Keane's Field":
We stumble on the eternal when we walk crookedly.
Seriously, that was one of the greatest lines I've read in a very long time.
The path to a more complete connection with God... the road to enlightenment... the journey to salvation, redemption, restoration and resurrection is not straight. At all. But eternity is found in the twists and turns.
May this be true for you today and every day and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.