Straight Lines Aren’t Always Best

indexThe shortest distance between two places is a straight line. While the rule might work well in geometry, it doesn’t work as well in real life.

Imagine nature with only straight lines. Imagine artwork. Imagine your movements. Imagine conversations.

Imagine spiritual growth. We want it to be straight and narrow. We want to intentional, purposeful, but what if quick, focused arrival isn’t the goal? What if the process, including extra effort, detours, and obstacles, is? Sure, there’s frustration in meandering, but there’s also beauty, rests, and discoveries.

Anytime I’ve climbed a mountain of any significant size, I have not taken a direct route. The path usually meanders back and forth. As I work my way up the side of the mountain, I see the same view over and over as I look out across the valley, but my perspective changes. I notice new details. I appreciate where I’ve been. I appreciate that I’m a few steps closer to the top.

It’s the same with spiritual growth. I sometimes wonder why it seems I learn the same lessons over and over, but in reality, it’s not the exact same lesson each time. I have a little more experience, and I get a slightly different perspective.

I can’t stand in exactly the place I am without having taken each step leading me here.

The meandering line seems less-productive than a direct route, but in reality, it’s a lot more productive, beautiful, and productive than a direct route.

This Week’s 7: Art of The Word (New Testament)

Seek God’s Word. Know God’s Word. Live God’s Word.

Each Sunday on the Pure Purpose blog, I feature This Week’s 7, a simple list about an everyday topic, giving you ideas and encouragement. Thanks for joining me today!

This Week’s 7: Art of The Word (Old Testament)

Seek God’s Word. Know God’s Word. Live God’s Word.

Each Sunday on the Pure Purpose blog, I feature This Week’s 7, a simple list about an everyday topic, giving you ideas and encouragement. Thanks for joining me today!

This Week’s 7 – The Day After

Each Monday on the Pure Purpose blog, I feature This Week’s 7, a simple list about an everyday topic, giving you ideas and encouragement. We’ve just journeyed through a full week of This Week’s 7 posts in preparation for Christmas. Now it’s the day after. Today can be an exhausting day full of unecessary food, unwanted messes and unavoidable obligations. So, today, instead of sharing a list, I’m sharing seven minutes. If you’ve never seen this video, sit back and enjoy the creativity. If you’ve already seen this video, I encourage you to sit back and enjoy it again. It just might be the most musical seven minutes of your day!

North Point’s iBand from North Point Web on Vimeo.

Fertilizer

Poop happens.

Especially with one of my dear friends. She seems to have a lot of “poop” stories. You might think that’s not a nice word to put in a blog post. Well, it is what it is, and she has the stories to prove it!

We don’t live close to each other, but we used to speak at many of the same conferences, so we’d enjoy our girlfriend times and laugh hysterically at the mayhems of her life. It’s okay. Sometimes you have to laugh at the junk of life because it beats crying.

When we were in Arizona several years, the “poop happens” phrase became a staple in our conversations because of an intense, overpowering (to say the least) experience. We were driving through the edge of town with our windows down, enjoying the warmer temperatures of the region, when we smelled something horrendous. I don’t mean the smell was simply unpleasant. It was overwhelmingly oppressive. The problem was even when we rolled up our windows, the trapped, saturated air surrounded and gagged us. We ridiculously tried to hold our breath. Tears ran down our cheeks – partly from laughter and partly from the stinging stench.

It took us a few miles to recuperate.

Poop happens.

Several months later, I titled a conference session “Poop Happens.” It was extremely well received. There’s not a single person on earth who hasn’t experienced a bit of poop in life.

My friend and I haven’t seen each other in a couple years (and I don’t like it!), but we recently experienced even more poop together. We’ve been trying to get together, driving several hours to meet halfway and enjoy a quick day together. We set a date – three times – and had to cancel for a variety of reasons. This past time, we almost made it. It was the day before our date when I got the message she and her daughter were sick. I was bummed, but I wanted her to be at full capacity when I saw her, so I wished her a speedy recovery.

I then realized I suddenly had a blocked day with no plans. I decided to work ahead on my to-do list.

    • Check.
    • Check.
    • Check.

I checked off tasks as my productivity and creativity soared.

The disappointment of not spending time with a friend was tempered with the unexpected opportunity to get things done.

The poop provided fertilizer.

Poop happens. That’s life. Will you plug your nose and avoid it or use it for fertilizer today?

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

Soaring Adventures

When Mom looked out the kitchen window, she saw us in the second-story barn window. My older sisters held me by my legs and arms, and they swung me back and forth several times before tossing me out the window.

What she couldn’t see was my landing. The garage obscured her view. She charged out the door in a panic, rounded the corner of the garage and…saw the hay truck stacked with straw and me rolling in laughter and delight. What a great day! Mom, on the other hand, didn’t share my joy. She was relieved I was okay, but her initial fright gave her enough momentum to yell at all of us and demand we stop the fun.

Bummer! I was having a blast. It might not have been the safest way to pass the time, but many of the “fun” things we did on the farm weren’t necessarily safe. Some of the most memorable experiences are the adventurous ones. We’re creative through adventures. We learn through adventures. And we often struggle through adventures. Struggling often produces growth.

What’s one adventure that thrilled you?

What’s an adventure that challenged you?

Consider how you grew through each.

Adventures often involve risks and usually involve excitement. Approach today with an anticipation of adventure. Learn. Struggle. Be creative. Make some memories.

Children, come and listen to me. I will teach you to worship the Lord. You must do these things to enjoy life and have many happy days. Psalm 34:11-12