My mother enjoyed painting. Her paintings were all over our house. One picture was of a road that wound around a curve and disappeared into the distance.
I asked my mother where the road went. Instead of telling me, she asked me, “Where do you think the road goes?”
I would come up with various destinations and tell her all about them. She would ask me questions to help me make more complete scenes in my mind.
Then she would tell me what she saw. We spent many happy hours traveling that road together. Even though we started on the same road every time we “played,” we were able to go to many different destinations.
As I was nearing college and considering an uncertain future, I asked her again, “Where does the road go, Mother?” She smiled and said, “It can go anywhere you would like it to go, Carolyn. But be sure to ask God for the directions!”
She never forced her views on me. She gently guided me and allowed me to choose the roads I chose in life, even when some were not the roads she would have chosen for me.
In so doing, she gently taught me not to try to mark out the route for other people. It would not have helped for her to tell me I was on the wrong road and needed to correct my course immediately.
She allowed me to choose my own path. But she stayed close and prayed. She stepped out of the way and committed me to The Way.
Sometimes I discovered I needed to make a U turn in my life. Every time I went back home to her and bemoaned where I had been, she would simply say, “Do you want to start over?”
And I remembered how many times we had started over on our imaginary road and went somewhere completely different. I started over.
After my parents were promoted to Heaven, we had to sell their house. It was hard to take that painting off the wall where it had hung for so many years.
I contemplated whether to take her picture with me. But as I looked at it without my traveling companion, the road seemed lonely. I chose to leave it.
I realized the “road” had expanded beyond its frame. My Mother had found the most exciting destination yet. And she was waiting for me to catch up one day!
Roads are for traveling. They can lead different places. Don’t limit yourself or anyone else.
U turns are allowed.
If you miss the turn you were supposed to take, go back and begin again.
Don’t force anyone to take your path. Stay close and pray. Trust Him Who is The Way to guide them.
Choose a traveling companion who enjoys sharing the journey with you.
Know that even though there are bumps in the road, the day will come when …
“Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And The Glory of The Lord
will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.”
Isaiah 40: 4-5