As you may know, this summer, we went on vacation in Hawaii. On the Big Island, we stayed in a wonderful house. It was off the beaten path on the Kona side of the Island. There was not a straight road to be found; there were twists and turns, ups and downs, bumpy patches of pavement, and mongoose darting across the road. It always took a while to get where you were going.
Driving home from the movies, after our return to the mainland, we were on a road that was straight, straight, straight, no twists just predictable right angles to change course. I admit to thinking it was nice to be on such a straight, smooth road. I didn’t have to pay as close attention I just drove and let my mind wander; I knew what was coming. I remember thinking life should be like this; straight and predictable!!
Then I started looking through the pictures from vacation and I was reminded of the astonishing beauty along the roads in Hawaii; plumeria and hibiscus blooming everywhere, lush green vines and breathtaking views right around the bend in the road. All the twists and turns, ups and downs forced me to drive slower and stay alert.
Maybe that is how we should live life, understanding that the ups and downs are part of living. That things will always dart out in front of us forcing us to stop or change course. Embracing the twists and turns, remembering that the hairpin in the roads of our life are turns that can bring entirely new vistas into view. Pocahontas sings Just Around the River Bend in the Disney movie by the same name. As she sings, she asks Should I choose the smoothest course Steady as the beating drum? Or do you still wait for me, dream giver Just around the river bend? I pray that I will always embrace the ups and downs, darting distractions and the twists and turns so I can see and experience and live just around the bend.
I attended seminary at Louisville (KY) Presbyterian Theological Seminary and have served churches in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. I have also worked for the national offices of the denomination in Louisville.