The Road Never Traveled
Updated: Mar 6, 2020
I was tucked in a corner covered in books, one of which was a huge Psychology text. I’d just put my two toddlers to bed and the kitchen was clean (ish) and I just need to finish this… one… chapter…
To be an art therapist this required going back to get my masters degree with countless hours of training. Unfortunately there were no art therapy degrees in Texas and none online except for a dual program in Indiana. Even still, we were willing to make sacrifices to see this passion come to life. Oh my apologies, let me back up a little. I’ve been an artist since I could hold a pencil. God just- made me that way. When I look at scenery I mentally assign each object with a paint tube color. When I see people, I look at the intricacies that make each face a tad different than another. But perhaps even more than that I love helping people; in the most basic terms I like helping people figure out their lives (I didn’t say I was good at it, just a shameless lover of fixing). It seemed the natural marriage to bring this love for counseling together with my God-given leaning for art. Art therapy seemed the perfect match for me and I knew it would be worth the long hours if I could finally use my gifts for a kingdom purpose. I could help fix people with art! Perfect! Finally. I figured out what I was made for.
You know how in cartoons a character comes to a crossroad where one path leads into a dark spooky forest but the sign says to go that way, and then theres the other direction thats filled with chirping birds and lots sunflowers and bunnies? Lifes not like that. Mine looked a little more like this…
La-ti-da, walking along this bumpy road… whew this seems like a long journey but I know I’ll get there…. Ouch. darn rock. That’s ok, just one… more… mile… Hm. I wonder if theres another route, I didn’t see one on the map so there must not be. Naturally if there was a more beautiful road it would be listed but seeing as this one has clear path I suppose this is best. At least I know for sure where its headed. Although there was that wild field back there, I wonder…
We have been told before to brave the road less traveled, but don’t you wonder who first discovered that road? What must it have been like- untold landscapes, new trees and animals, carving a path no one had dared take? I wonder what made him go that way in the first place. Was he just curious, or super adventurous, or did he see something that caught his eye? I know what made me look at the wild field. I heard a whisper. It was luring, gentle, but also clear. “Ask me. Ask me if theres another way.” We are so used to looking at a map with mile markers that clearly tells us how far until we arrive at our destination. I knew this was instead an invitation to a journey, one that seemed unsure and a tad frightening, but incredibly intriguing. All at once I knew I had to get off that mapped course and take a step into the wild field. The grass was tall but it smelled sweet. I felt unexpectedly peaceful and my heart began to beat a little faster. As I pushed passed the stalks of uncertainty, they parted to give me a glimpse of a little yellow house. It was quaint and perfect in every way. People were coming in, just a few at a time and it became obvious they were being drawn to something captivating inside. From the windows I could see- painting? And worship? As its dwellers filtered in and out they seemed to carry with them a sense of peace as well, one only possible from the Prince of Peace Himself. Why this was- beautiful! Breathtaking! And to think I could have missed this place of wonder!
Created was born not from my planning or from my own ideas, but from listening to a wooing voice that knew of something far better than what lied ahead on my plotted course. I think I could have become an art therapist and I think I would have done ok too- perhaps even helped many people. But do you know what I was doing last week instead of studying textbooks after the kids went down? I was standing in a little yellow house, filled with people painting and waiting on the Lord to speak to their hearts. I’m not sure that I did much of anything for them, but I was able to bear witness as Jesus did.
I don’t believe that staying on the course is wrong, but I do believe that on our paths we often too quickly pass by wild fields that need to be explored. We too often blow off the whisper we heard in the wind as we walked by. Can you imagine all of the beauties that might lay beyond the tall grass we see from the road? Sometimes we think of God like the mapmaker, ourselves as the travelers seeking to know which course He wants us to follow. But I wonder if many times we are the ones drawing the roads when He would rather us just explore the unmarked treasures He already has waiting.
(And if you happen to be interested in experiencing this little house in the woods, you can visit artfullycreated.org)