Navigating the Curves of Life

Originally published Wednesday, 11 September 2013.

What is it that makes something beautiful?  Do straight lines lend themselves to beauty or rather, is it the curves that create features which draw our eye and peak our artistic curiosity? Take paintings, architecture, and sculptures: the curves and varying degrees of height and thicknesses capture our gaze and hold us there.

I have a confession: I am a thirty-something-year-old woman who is afraid of curves. Please allow me to explain.

A few years ago, Ron and I went for a bicycle date. It had been over 8 months since my last ride. When I approached a sharp turn with any speed, I became all-apprehensive and tense.  Instead of leaning into the turn, shifting balance left to right or right to left, I began to slow down, put on the brakes and shift the handle bar wibble wobble until I was safely past the curve.  Once back on the straight path, I asked "What am I so afraid of?"


I know it. I am afraid of falling much like I am afraid of failure.

Past falls and failures left me with anxiety of their return. Conversely, these weaknesses turn lessons from which Christ calls, "Trust me, call to me, I will use this for my glory and your good. I will heal your wounds. I will use this to accomplish my will."  That is if I stay obedient to Him in the path He has me on.

I want to lean into the One who will equip and instruct me to navigate the curves on life's journey.

Don't get me wrong...I still like straight shots. However, I do not want to approach the drive of life as I do trivial competitions; throwing myself into the tasks I "have a shot at" and avoiding the risks of success and difficult obedience.

The Christian life was made for curves and bends on the narrow, and often rough, road. We are instructed to live by faith, believing that the Author of our faith will complete the good works that He has started within us. Sharp curves in the road and changes in terrain are ways that God can show off His glory within us. The work of navigating the curves is the worship of living by His Spirit and in obedience to His call upon our lives.

I do not want to ride the wide path and miss the eternal revelation of the narrow way.

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Take away the divine curved hands and arced feet that bore the nails on the cross, and all that remains are two perpendicular lines without power and merciful sacrificial beauty.

The curves make things beautiful. There is more to life than meets our physical eyes; let us lean into the One who enables us to navigate the curves of life.

* All photography by Ron Cooney.