Whether you believe “life is a highway” and whether you want to “ride it all night long” or not, the analogy of life being a road is certainly enduring imagery for good reason.
Jesus’ disciples wondered how they would know the path to be with Him and Jesus Himself declared He was “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
If we are indeed on a path or road to abundant life through Jesus, why do there seem to be so many twists and turns? Surely it’s not only me who has wondered about this! He speaks to your heart, gives you direction, gives you a dream, and the road seems more winding than a narrow mountain pass.
I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do believe I know one reason God would allow the curves in our lives.
We need them. Simple as that.
Several times a week for exercise, I have a regular route that I run. I noticed something when I come to longer stretches of straight path, I get more tired and usually have thoughts of wanting to stop right then.
It’s strange, but almost without fail, the straight path looks so long laid out before me that it seems too much. It mentally drains me!
The curves and twists allow me to stay sharp and pay attention. It’s more enjoyable and less boring and/or intimidating.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow. —Psalm 5:8
You certainly have forces, demonic or otherwise, against you that are assuredly enemies, but you also face discouragement, anxiety, fear, or simply feelings of being overwhelmed that want to stop you from following His path. Perfectly straight paths seem better, but in reality, seeing too much at once and all that lies ahead may fuel our enemy to push us into falling back, taking a break, or even quitting.
Like the psalmist, we cry out, “lead me on Your road, and I won’t curse the curves. Smooth out the road and make it plain, but I trust where you lead and how you lead me.”
There are so many things I have believed for because I know God inspired the dreams or gave me a promise, some I thought should have happened years ago. It hasn’t been a straight line, but He’s been with me every step, which fills me with hope. I want to keep running and fulfill all He’s designed me to do and be.
For that reason, I’m so grateful for those curves in the road because now I see they operate like switchbacks that take you higher and higher up a mountain. Straight ahead would be too steep and too daunting, but back and forth will get you to the top.