I do not remember when I first heard it, or what its source might be. But the saying has accompanied me for many years:

God draws straight with crooked lines.

Life is oriented towards Life. That is the straight part. The goal lies straight ahead, clear and undeniable. There is a force at the heart of all creation that is oriented inexorably towards the full unfolding of all life forms. Life is bent in favour of becoming. The way is straight ahead and the work of life is always reaching towards the manifestation of light and beauty that is the true nature of all creation.

I wish this life-giving way was always clear and easy to discern. But, I am often unable to perceive precisely the direction that is most likely to lead towards life. The map is blurry and the road ahead shrouded in fog. The “straight” part of the drawing is almost imperceptible; it is not immediately obvious what might be the best way forward. Most of life is travelled along “crooked lines.” And when I am wandering along the “crooked” path, it is easy to feel bewildered and lost.

How do I find the straight way in the land of “crooked lines”? How do I discern the voice of truth in the midst of the cacophany of voices that clamour for my attention?

The risk is that, when the way ahead is murky and uncertain, I lose faith in the “straight” part. When I feel dazed and confused by the bewildering options and possibilities, it is tempting to lose sight of the underlying vision and purpose that reside at the heart of all creation. But the fact that I am not immediately aware of which might be the most life-giving route at this point, does not change the goal of Life.

If I trust the journey, the way ahead will unfold. I do not need to have a perfectly clear map; there are no perfectly clear maps. There is only walking the road before me in the most faithful and obedient way I can.

What I know I can do is keep my heart open. I can seek to respond gently to the realities as they present themselves. I can look honestly at what is going on. I can trust what I do know. I can follow what light is available to me in this moment. I can put one foot in front of the other with the intention of moving towards greater light and the hope of more fully embodying the love that I know is my true nature. I can surrender those obstacles I perceive within myself that hinder my ability to move forward with openness, honesty, and freedom.

I will journey better if I hold lightly those things in which I have sought to affirm my sense of identity and by which I have tried to establish security and safety. I can follow the example of “James son of Zebedee and his brother John”  who were in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.” When Jesus called them,

immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. (Matthew 4:21,22)

They did not know were they were going. They had no program, no plan, no road map. The future lay before them unknown. But they saw something in Jesus that caused them to trust this moment. By trusting this moment, they were able to trust the next moment and the one after that, even though they could not discern the “straight” line from here to there. Their goal was not to get somewhere, but to trust the journey and to open to the power of love in this moment, just this moment, right here and right now. There is nothing more we can ever do as life follows its “crooked” path towards the fullness of beauty and light that is always present.