Monday, October 3, 2016

A View Of Life From An Irish Lane

Recently I clicked through a batch of photos I took while on holiday in Ireland. I came across the picture below, and was immediately transported back in time to a country lane in County Roscommon.

A mess of grass in a field
I had been enjoying a walk along the lane. Birdsong, accompanied by the scent of freshly cut grass, filled the air.  Cows in the field above kept pace with me on their side of the low stone wall. As I stopped, they nudged each other into a row and watched me intently. Sheep bleated in the distance, and on the horizon I could just make out giant windmills sweeping the air with their blades. I looked across a band of sunny buttercups growing on the perimeter of the field on the other side. A sea of grass blades was strewn all over the ground. They made a tangled mess with no apparent form or order.

I turned up a nearby lane and walked up a steepish rise. Halfway up, I paused and looked down on the field below again. What a difference the change in perspective made.  A clear pattern of paths, the work of the farmer's tractor and implements, was now clearly visible. I could see where the paths took a curve, where they split into two, and where they ran parallel to each other before disappearing in the distance.

A pattern of paths
What a clear picture of my characters' lives! My story people are living in a chaotic tangle of events, obstacles, feelings, predicaments and consequences. Their lives make no sense and their goals are thwarted repeatedly. They cannot see which way they should turn, but I, from my perspective as their creator and a writer, can see the paths they need to take to complete their character arcs and drive my story forward to a satisfying conclusion.

Don't you think this picture also applies to us? Life is often overwhelming, and we don't know what will happen in the future. What should we do? What choices should we make?

Thankfully God, our Creator and Author of our life stories, is in control, and sees the pattern of our lives clearly. He knows which paths we should travel and He will guide us. After all, the Bible says;
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
And lean not on your own understanding,
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct  your paths."
Proverbs3:5-6 (New King James Version)