So there I was, chopping fruit and vegetables. Meal prep for the week at 8:00 pm. It was raining and dark outside my screen door. I was alone with my thoughts, a rare and treasured gift, all you moms know! As I diced peppers and cauliflower and sliced strawberries and grapes, I noticed the only straight lines to be found among the produce were the ones my knife left behind.
Such random thoughts seem to come to us in the midst of our most menial tasks, don’t they? I know this is true for me. But that solitary idea got me thinking. About nature. About the things God makes. It dawned on me: God rarely uses perfectly straight lines in creation. He seems to prefer using curves and slopes, rolling hills and rough borders. In a world untouched by humanity, I doubt you’d find many unbent edges at all.
Think about that for a second…
The earth. Galaxies. The sun, moon, and planets. Trees and flowers. Continents and coastlines. Rivers and oceans. Animals. The contours of the human body. Fruit. Vegetables. The list goes on…not a lot of razor sharp perimeters to be found.
This realization stunned me, floored me really. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
You see, I thrive when things are in order. I’m a rule-follower by nature. I like knowing what to expect. I hate super curvy roads, but give me a highway that stretches straight out to the horizon and I breathe a sigh of relief. My favorite angle is a right angle (yes, I think about things like this). There’s something about the crispness of two objects intersecting at ninety degrees that just washes over me and gives me peace.
We humans have an interesting habit of creating the linear and perpendicular. It’s like we crave order in the midst of our chaos, and so the free forms of nature get interrupted by the slicing edges of our buildings and infrastructure. Ever look out the window of an airplane? From thousands of feet in the air, it’s undeniable just how much of a mark we have made. Our grids and patterns are in stark contrast to the clusters and curves of nature.
Calendars. Neighborhoods. Roads. Houses. Lines. Lanes. Rows. Grids. Control. Plans. Everything in its perfectly-angled place. We create rigid, unmoving, hard and fast rules. We think we need alignment to survive.
But here’s the thing…God doesn’t operate within the straight lines we’ve etched out for ourselves. He’s comfortable with our disarray. He watches us scurry around trying to make sense of our lives. He already sees what’s around each next bend. And He is not afraid.
One of the most adventurous things I’ve ever done is ride on the back of a motorcycle. Actually, it was a dirt bike. Motorcycles give me a heart attack! The first time I climbed on behind my husband and he took off, I was terrified. But as we rode, he taught me to follow the direction of his body, to lean with him around every corner. If I forgot and tried to tilt myself in the opposite direction, I could have easily caused us to crash. So over time, I learned to mirror my body to his. When he leaned right, I leaned right, even though it didn’t make sense to me how putting myself so precariously close to the blacktop was the correct thing to do.
The same is true with Jesus Christ. Once we climb onto his bike, so to speak, we surrender the driver’s seat. We don’t have to be in control anymore. All we have to do is hold tightly to Him and follow His direction. If He leans one way, we should too. And when we get scared of the angle our life is tilting and try to fight against it, we risk a nasty collision. So don’t do that, ok?
God is a masterful driver. Just as He purposefully shaped Creation, he gently maneuvers the sharpest corners of your life and mine. If you’re riding with Him, you can embrace the twists and turns of each day’s pavement. You can find harmony in the chaos.
And if you’re desperately seeking structure and peace, meditate on this: Christ’s mind is in perfect order, but His hands work best with the curves.