October 25, 2020
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Proverbs 4:26
One specific moment in my childhood days—a tiny admonishment from my friend Kyle while roller skating—shaped me forever. Probably seven years old, we were collectively trying to go faster than another group of kids when I decided to skate across some painted corners to get an edge. He told me it wouldn’t work because you have to brake more and it’s not as smooth a turn. He was right; we always ended up on the next straight-away at the same time. I just expended more energy to do it.
In high school, I worked summers as a mower/weed-eater at a golf course, and I never forgot the beauty of corners: to appreciate the effort and even art that went in to tending the grass along edges of cart paths, ponds, etc. Among the employees, you could really see who cared about the integrity of it all and who was simply trying to hack away and move on.
In college, I rued the fact that many students would create dirt paths in the grass just to get from one path to another on our beautiful UNC-Chapel Hill campus. It not only tainted the visual aspect of the landscape, but literally trod upon the work that someone had done to plant and water the grass. To this day, you will never see me cut through grass to save a couple seconds.
God also gives us metaphorical corners of course, in many, many forms. When we realize that a corner always leads to another side or path, we can see a beauty in it—a beauty in the growth we achieve from working to get around that corner. Sometimes the path around it seems longer, but it may be smoother!
God, thank you for that glorious bit of insight when I was a kid. I’ve never forgotten the lesson and use it to see the beauty of all your corners.
Dr. Jeremy Peterman