Life in the Flat Lane

I don't normally take photos in black and white, but I was messing with the camera on my phone when I was walking in the snow last week and apparently hit the "b&w" button somewhere.

I like the photo, though. I like the sense of nostalgia it evokes for me. A snow scene from the olden days.

Also, I like the road, the tracks from the cars and other vehicles that made their way through the snow. I like how there's not a rut in the road that everyone drove on. The vehicles made their own ways, not depending on a track made by those gone before.

The truth is, I find it is not all that hard for me to get into a rut. There's a fine line between routine and rut for me. When I'm trying to focus on diet and exercise, for example, and I find something that I feel I have some control over (I know how many calories are in a particular meal; I know how many I can burn doing a particular activity) I stick with it. And stick with it. Until I either get really bored with myself and rebel or until I discover just how uninspired and unvaried my "routine" has become. My carefulness becomes something that flattens my life instead of something to keep me on a good path. Variety is the spice of life and diets, too.

And so sometimes I have to give up something in order to live better. Maybe it is an idea (or, negatively, a fantasy). Maybe it is a habit. Maybe it's actually a good thing (counting calories) that has begun to tie me down or hold me back because I have slavishly adhered to it and cut out things that give me joy.

And, on a larger scale, it may not be impossible, but it can be hard for the Holy Spirit to move around much in the space of a well-worn rut.

Sometimes one has to give something up in order to grow. I know this is a lesson I have had to learn more than once. I cannot grow if I'm not willing to drive off the path occasionally. I cannot grow if I rely on following others' path instead of finding or making my own. I cannot grow if I flatten my life out by living in a rut. I cannot grow if I will not make room for the Spirit and the surprises and delights that the Spirit brings.

Life is beautiful. Growing is good. Jesus came so that we might have life and have it abundantly.

And so here's to making a path and enjoying the view, too.