Has your life journey been more of a straight line or a winding road? Given the choice, I’d pick the straight line — more out of my desire for speed and efficiency. Yet, as I look back on the path I’ve traveled, it’s been much more of a (cue the Beatles) The Long and Winding Road.
Maybe you can relate to the twists and turns that life often takes. Or maybe you can’t relate, because you’re one of those who knew from kindergarten the path for your life and have beelined your way there without any deviation.
Writing straight with crooked lines
Either way, I hope you’ll read on. If you’ve taken the express route in life, maybe what follows will help you better understand those of us who haven’t. If you’re on the winding road, I hope this helps make sense of the journey you’ve traveled.
Years ago I stumbled upon this saying, God writes straight with crooked lines. The winding path, while not always the most direct route, still leads forward (take another look at the image attached to this post). Often, the ascent of the climb is too much to tackle all at once, so you zig-zag your way up the mountain.
Here’s a brilliant insight that helped me,
While we are in the throes of life unfolding, and yes, there are seasons when it seems more like life unravelling, it’s often hard to see any pattern, path, or purpose to the events of our lives.
However, when we allow ourselves some room for reflection, and look back over a season, or seasons, of life, we probably see patterns. We may even realize that there was a pathway and that all along the way, we were on the course to discovering our life’s purpose.
How did you get here?
Let me share a story that illustrates this.
A few years back, I had facilitated a two-day workshop in Seattle. The workshop had just ended, people had said their goodbyes, and I was packing up before heading out.
Just then, I noticed Marcus making his way to the front of the room. He offered to help. Naturally, I accepted his offer.
We chatted as we finished packing. It’s one of those conversations that still rings fresh in my ears.
Marcus began, “How did you get trained to do what you do?”
I responded with a bit of nervous laughter.
“Is that a silly question?”, he asked, looking somewhat embarrassed.
“Oh no! Not at all. It’s just that my answer may not be that helpful to you. Why do you ask?”
“Well…” Marcus was a bit timid. Earlier I had learned he was a veteran recovering from PTSD. “I want to do what you do.”
“I’m not sure my answer is what you’re looking for, but it is the truth…Nothing. And everything.”
At that moment, Marcus had that deer-in-the-headlight look, “Huh? I was hoping you could point me to a program or school to learn to do what you do.”
I continued, “Let me explain, nothing in the sense of receiving formal education or specific training to do what I was doing. However, everything I have ever done, in one way or another, has equipped and prepared me to do what I do.”
It clicked. I saw the light begin to shine in his eyes.
“Marcus, I believe all of your life experiences have prepared and equipped you to do something similar to what I do. You need to believe it and launch out to discover just what that is for you.”
Marcus smiled. He understood.
What about you and your path?
What has your life journey prepared you to do?
Can you relate to that nothing and everything comment from my conversation with Marcus? As you look back, can you now see how the dots connected to form a pathway? Are you able to trace straight lines from your crooked path?
I sure hope so and I’d love to hear your story. Perhaps you’ll share some of it in a comment below. If you’re still trying to make sense of the path you’re traveling, maybe I can help.
I’ve developed a framework, the Higher Purpose Pathway. It’s one of the tools I use to help people discover and fulfill their higher purpose in life. (And I believe we’re all hardwired for higher purpose.)
I do this in both one-on-one sessions as well as in small group settings. We begin by mining the riches of your life’s journey to help you discover how you’re wired and what motivates you to make the world a better place.
With that understanding in place, we map the path that leads to your ideal future. What’s the difference you dream of making in the world?
From there, we muster the resources (including courage) needed to bring your dream to life. Then it’s time to mobilize for action and get you on your way.
I’ve developed five-questions to help you get started and take the next step on your Higher Purpose Pathway. It’s free! Download them now and carve out time in the next 24 hours to discover where you are, and what the best next steps are for your journey.
And of course, I’d love to hear whether your path has been more zig-zag or straight line. Either way, keep living forward.