The fastest route from one place to another would be by following the beeline. Assuming that bees take the fastest and most direct route from the flower to the hive, then the beeline is a straight line. After a long hard day of work, if I say I am going home to make a beeline for the shower, then I am going straight to the shower as soon as I walk in the door.
If we could always travel to where we wanted to go via a beeline route, we would save a lot of travel time. Unfortunately, the roads are not always laid out that way.
In the Bible, to follow and live your life in the way of Christ’s directions, means you are on the straight path:
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
Luke 3:4-6 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.”
Nobody likes a bumpy road with unplanned twists and turns. Obviously God wants us on the road of righteousness.
On a sailboat, it can be very challenging to stay on the straight path. If you want to get from point “A” to point “B” and the wind is behind you, there is no problem. You can even get there with the wind coming from the sides with the sails trimmed just right. But if the wind is coming from the exact place that you want to go, there is no way you can sail straight into the wind. Oh you can get there, but you must zigzag back and forth into the wind to finally get there.
Yesterday, my daughter Kristen and her husband Ric sailed our sailboat back from Put-In-Bay by themselves. Kristen has sailed with the family many times while Ric is fairly new to the sport (but a fast learner!). They got an early start and were quite the sailors as they battled strong winds and waves, and Kristen fought back some sea sickness. They were able sailors for well over half the trip home. Finally, Kristen texted my phone and said they were trying to tack back and forth as the wind was coming from the exact location they were trying to go to. She texted, “We have only 5 knots of wind. It’s slow slow slow! Thinking about motoring so we can make it to the yacht club by dinner!”
For each of us, life is a journey; a road we must travel; a path from point “A” to point “B”. I suppose if one lives an easy, uneventful, and faith-filled life then the road has been straight. A life with many challenges can be described as a rough road. Sometimes we lose our way. Many times we get side-tracked. But thank goodness for that beeline – because as long as we know that the straight and narrow path is there, we can always get back on track and find our way. And God is always happy to share the road with us and show us the way. Remember, we have a roadmap – God’s word – the Bible. And sometimes we can get a little help from our friends. And if you’re stuck in a rut, maybe you need to adjust your sails?
And if you’re still not making any progress, sometimes you just have to turn the motor on 🙂