Lately Jesse and I have been biking up our road together on a somewhat regular basis. It's only about 4 miles, but it's a pretty good workout.
Today, toiling along at 7 miles an hour, I was thinking about how nice it is that the road is broken up into short twists that allow you to focus on the task at hand - riding - without having to mentally tackle the whole route. It would be unbearably intimidating to face the entire 4 miles in a straight, strong line, reaching up into the distance as far as you can see.
There is a common fallacy regarding the shortest distance between two points, and I am as guilty as anyone of going along with it. The truth is, were we to be confronted with our future in the form of a titanic to-do list, most of us would promptly faint.
That's why God does not generally spread the map out on the table like we often want Him to. He requires us simply to trust, and "do the next thing." The twin sins of pride and procrastination make this plenty challenging: so often we scurry about worrying our petty selves over this or that when we really just need to brush our teeth and go to bed.
Nearly everything about life is incremental and repetitive; eating a meal in bites, taking a walk in steps, singing a song in notes, even breathing. I believe the Lord wants us to break things down and enter the mystery we commonly call the moment. As C. S. Lewis said, "The Present is the point at which time touches eternity." (There is an excellent examination of the distinctly Christian nature of the moment in ch. XV of The Screwtape Letters.)
So thank the Lord for curvy roads, and realize that step-by-step is not confining; step-by-step is survival.
Image courtesy of livinginoneness.com