The Beatles had it right–the long and winding road leads us somewhere.
The challenge is we don’t always know where that path is taking us.
While in Wisconsin recently, my sisters and I went to Gills Rock, a place photographed countless times during different seasons because of the winding road surrounded by magnificent deciduous trees that robe themselves in glorious shades of green in spring and summer, lacy branches that trace the grey skies and snow in winter, and brilliant bursts of colors in fall.
It was incredible.
This road is as winding as I’ve ever seen, rivaled by Lombard Street in San Francisco, known for its crookedness.
There aren’t the trees on Lombard Street.
Our grand idea of taking time to walk a bit of the road and get pictures like I’d seen others take was a bit naive.
There were a bunch of other folks who had the same thought. Many of them stood in the middle of the road to get a centered shot. Blocking the view for those of us who graciously stood on the side, not wanting to be in someone else’s picture.
And then there were the cars. It is a road, after all, and they kept coming up and going down. Not realizing–or caring–that they were messing up the possibilities of beautiful photography.
So we waited. In the cold. And this Florida girl doesn’t do cold well.
I talked to a young man sitting on the hood of his car, watching the mayhem around him. He held a camera with a lens the length of an elephant’s trunk.
“How long have you been waiting?”
“About an hour.”
Was he kidding? An hour for a picture?
More people kept coming, standing in the road. The cars kept driving by.
Frustration was building. I was willing to leave.
I walked down the road alone and stood off to the side. Watching. My phone was ready–who needs a fancy camera?–and I took trial pictures with cars and people populating the photos.
I waited. Ready.
It couldn’t have been more than a two-second space of time. The road cleared, and I snapped several pictures.
And then the parade of cars and people resumed.
I don’t fancy myself a photographer. I don’t work at it.
I took a picture.
There were many that didn’t. Today I waited and was prepared.
Every day that road stretches before me, and I have no idea what awaits around each corner. Often I’m frustrated by things I can’t control, that don’t work out the way I’d hoped.
In the waiting there are moments of clarity, joy, gratitude that fill me with a sense of the goodness of God.
He’s on that road with me. Ahead of me and behind me. Present in all my circumstances, good and bad. Waiting to show me His beauty and purpose. Surprising me with His love.
That guy with the camera was still there when we left. Camera in his lap. Maybe he’d get tired of waiting.
We all tire of waiting.
He shows up in the grandest pictures of our lives.