I often find myself in Scripture, at the intersection of Idolatry and Truth … always a really interesting place to be. Actually reminds me of a conversation with a friend of mine, down south: “I just don’t get NASCAR,” I exclaimed. “Big waste of gas.” “Oh my, my, my,” he said shaking his head. “You just don’t get it. It’s not about people driving around in lots of circles at high speeds; it’s about the wrecks! That’s what everyone’s waiting for.” Now he wasn’t saying he wanted anyone to get hurt. He was saying it’s about the spectacle. And if you hang out on the corner of Idolatry and Truth, you’re going to see some spectacular wrecks! No doubt.
There are those who like to find themselves in Scripture on the Highway of Absolute Truth, confidently speeding down four lanes of smooth blacktop, all traffic headed in the same direction, leading directly from one place to another without the slightest possibility of any deviation. You know where you’re going. You know how you’re going to get there. You think you know when you’ll arrive.
Thing is, it’s not as if there aren’t wrecks on the highway. In fact, when you think everyone’s going your way, when you think the road is wider and straighter, when you think there are no stop signs, no stop lights, no intersections, at the higher speed such expectations generate, the stalled car is all the more dangerous. The driver who, distracted, loses control. The obstruction up ahead. The unchanging perspective that becomes monotonous. There is the risk of wrecking—any way I choose to go.
So I like the backroads, the questions about which way to go at each intersection (no, I don’t have GPS!), the twists and turns, the swivelling head, the ever-changing perspective. And I’m not prepared to concede that I’m any less safe. Nor do I concede that I will always necessarily get where I’m going later than anyone else. (Although, don’t we have to admit, whatever road we’re on, we always get where we’re going? The question is just whether or not where we went is where we thought we were going!).
For me, it’s part of that whole it’s-the-journey-not-the-destination thing, and in choosing (and even anticipating) the unexpected—in welcoming surprise, I am kept on edge. I savor the spicy taste of a dash of anxiety, and my journey’s less about knowing assurance than wonder, less about confirmation than discovery, less about a sense of satisfaction than one of joy.