The Wilder Life: September 2016
By Amanda Jean Elliott
“We are just going the wrong way.” A few weeks ago, I took a shortcut and this sentence was on repeat for two minutes.
My 4-year-old son believes he is a navigator of epic proportions. Never mind he can’t read a map, he knows the right way. All of the times. The good news is that the kid has
an insanely good sense of direction. And he is usually right. But, on this day, he was wrong. We were taking a shortcut. (And I’m not just saying that because I was lost and didn’t
want to admit it.)
“Listen. We are going the right way. Just because you haven’t been this way before doesn’t mean we’re going the wrong way.”
He didn’t know the houses and didn’t recognize the street and so immediately believed it must be the wrong way, because it was a way he didn’t know. But, the truth is that it doesn’t matter what he thought, because the one who is driving (that would be me) knows the way. And it was one of those moments in which I could feel so clearly that there was a bigger lesson here. From God. To me.
If we want to head somewhere new, we’re going to have to go a way we’ve never gone before. If we want a life that looks different than the past, we’re going to have to go a new way. Do a new thing.
We must be willing to take a path that we know not how to navigate. In that there is risk. Sometimes it’s easier to just spin our wheels in the rut hoping to catch some traction rather than get out of the car and start pushing. There could be mud involved. There could be sweat involved. There will be work involved. You’re going to have to get out of the car. Get out of the comfort zone. Relocate either your body or your mind … or both.
Last year I found the one whom my soul loves and I took a new path. One that led to marriage this summer. It required stepping out. It required vulnerability. It required entering into the unknown. It required setting out on a path that a few years ago I wondered if I would want to ever walk again.
And yet, a pack of wild horses could not have kept me from marrying this man. Because I know this new way is the right way. And not just because it feels right or because I’m happy. I know because I have it on authority from the one who made this path for me. I have it on authority from the one who knows what’s on the other side. And the best part of it all — I’m on a path with the one God has for us.
Navigating new roads requires work — because that’s what grown up love looks a lot like. It looks a lot like two people willing to do more than eye-gazing and hand holding. It looks like two people willing to go down a path that may not be easy, but one that is possible because they are willing to go together. And one that is beautiful because it’s ours and only ours.