Life is Not a Straight Line

By Weldon Tisdale, Chaplain

It has been said that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. However, that is only partially true because the distance ultimately depends on the geometric shape of the object. In life, the shortest distance between your starting point and destination is not a straight line. Though you may be able to see your destination, there may be many paths you can travel to arrive. Life is filled with uncertainty. What road do I travel? Will it be straight or filled with many twists and turns, hills and
valleys, smooth and rough patches, U-turns, circle backs, and on and on? In the end, it is important to decide to move forward knowing that, at times during the journey, moving forward may mean backtracking.

Author C.S. Lewis said, “Progress is not simply moving forward. It is moving closer to the desired destination.” Here are a few Biblical examples, which demonstrate that life is not a straight line:
• When the children of Israel were freed from bondage in Egypt, they turned an 11-day journey to the Promised Land into a 40-year expedition. Why? Primarily, because they would not follow the direction of God. Yes, they eventually arrived but not without some major struggles and several rough patches.
• Abraham received a promise from God, if he would leave his homeland, his people and his father’s household, that God would make him into a great nation and bless him. His journey took 25 years before he received the ultimate promised seed. In between, his life faced many challenges, twists and turns
before reaching his destination.
• Joseph had a dream which took 13 years of ups and downs, twists and turns before it came to fruition.
• David was anointed king but it took several years of trouble, struggles and victories before he was eventually crowned king over all of Israel.

“Progress rarely happens in a straight line. It typically unfolds in loops. Day by day, it can feel you’re spinning your wheels. If you look back on your trajectory over months or years, you can see forward movement. Major growth is the result of many seemingly minor turns. ” ~ Amy Grant

Life in each of these stories was moving forward but not in a straight line. Even though you could say that life always moves forward, forward doesn’t always mean in a straight line. Enjoy the journey ahead of you even if you need to take a detour at times.

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