Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The winding way

The winding way

It’s Monday morning, and at 8:18, I am cresting a mountain range.

It’s literally a pinnacle moment. Seems fitting, since I am on an unexpected journey to meet my granddaughter, born Sunday night. I am to catch a flight out of Philly later today, but I have enough time to head in the opposite direction – to just outside Pittsburgh – to see the baby and her parents in the hospital. A winding journey. And a delightful one.

I had been praying for her before reaching the mountain – not just thanking God for her, but praying into the future, too. Asking God to impress his love on her that she would always know his presence. Asking him to use her to bring him glory.

Day one! It’s not often that we think about a whole life stretching out in front of someone. That’s why I wanted the highway, as it crested the ridge, to open up to a far-reaching vista. Something to visualize the journey of life. Something like this.


But, in fact, it took time to find this view. The road on the downward slope had no great perspective. Just more turns of the highway, and one clear view of a factory. Which, my inner cynic pointed out, is more like actual life. It’s short sequences strung together with a whole lot of work to do. Good thing I didn’t write that in the card I’m bringing.


It wasn’t until I was nearly at my destination that I find the perfect visual. When I see this, I actually turn the car around to be able to get out and walk by it. I stand in the sunshine and take in the scene. The softness of the thawed ground. The reflection of blue on the meandering stream. The deep shadows of the trees. It is brimming with loveliness.

I like this much better. Yes, life is full of twists so that it is hard to see far into the future. But those serpentine bends makes the journey all the more delightful.

I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.   
They shall spring up among the grass
    like willows by flowing streams.     Isaiah 44:3-4

May it be so, dear Lord. May it be so.

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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