Intellectually I know this, “a good story is not a straight line.” In the beginning, I wanted to be a mountain guide, exploring the rugged blank spots on the map. Immaturity convinced me to avoid the world of business for fear of losing my friendship with the heart of God.
I side-lined my guide aspirations and started selling radio advertising commercials and playing at the park—home by 5 pm for family dinner and bedtime stories for the kids. The younger places in me could not see the good story being forged. All I thought I saw were zig zags.
Maybe you’re like me, and you want a foolproof plan to the result, the destination.
A plus B equals C.
Results in linearity, sequential, predictable outcomes, and only straight lines. For some, their five-year plan appears flawlessly executed. “This same some (apparently) forge through life with a plan, a map they chart by bolder stars. I, on the other hand, wake to mild confusion most days, not about the tiny aspects of self-respect such as brushing my teeth and paying my bills but more the big things like my destiny, etc.” (John Blase)
I’m no celestial navigator either, so I wake to surrender with radical acceptance the path marked for me (King David’s words below), as the poet David Whyte names “the pale ground beneath my feet.”
Decades later, inclusive of all my jagged lined, cliff jumps, plummets, high places, “unbroken lines” culminating in a good story worthy of a campfire—wholehearted, friends with God, accompanying clients into the frontiers of business and wilderness. I’ve been led.
Embrace your long way round. Embrace the zig zag lines, the setback and allow yourself to be led.
Poem by John Blase, It Is Not So Much
David Whyte, Start Close In
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow, “Unbroken Lines”
“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right- you don’t go off on your own, you walk straight along the road he set.”
-King David, psalm 119