I read a few years ago the words “stay in your lane,” and I thought a little bird of heaven had just perched on my shoulder. To me it was permission. Permission to be who I was and permission to not try to be who I wasn’t.
It still is.
There are lanes God created us for and lanes where He never meant us to go. For example, I am not in the singing or dancing lane, nor am I in the painting or wallpapering lane. I am not meant to design skyscrapers or determine the strength of bridges. Nor am I built for rollercoasters or hang gliding. It has come to my realization that the list of things I am decent at is a wee bit shorter than the list of things at which I stink or will never, ever try. And until the other day, I was completely okay with that.
I am a huge, huge fan of art. I cannot draw but I am wildly in love with seeing people display their God given talent to paint or take photos or sculpt or sew. I LOVE it.
In my lifetime I have toured my children through dozens of museums, many dozens of times. I have poured into them about artists I love and why I love them.
If an art show is near our neighborhood, we are there, and if there is anything hands on, we get our hands dirty. My little girl gets this. She tells me all the time she is going to teach art, that she is going to open a museum in our garage and one day people will pay for her art.
So far, I have not seen a boatload of talent, but we can dream. She scurried up to what looked like a giant canvas the other day. The curator of this little display gave her eye droppers and she went to work. I admired how as we walked up there were varying shades of rose. I like rose. I like my lane to be rosy. One could say I would be content with rose colored glasses.
But my little girl didn’t grab rose, or red or even pink. She set to work with blue and yellow effectively changing the landscape of my rose garden. And she completely loved it.
I let her know the canvas was not coming home. It was there for dozens of children to do heaven knows what with color. So as soon as she got home, she found her eye dropper. I was having none of it. I gave her a cup of water and let her paint the shower door.
And that’s when the Holy Spirit got hold of me and my lane. I think He and I are huge fans of knowing our gifting. I think He appreciated the fact that I know better than going to Six Flags and vomit on rides. But I think in my solidarity in lane usage, I have missed places and spaces where He is taking me.
I am not so fond of pain and change and stretching passed where my own talents will take me. I recoil and I resign and I resist. And I forget. I forget that this life is not measured by success; it’s measured by stretching. It is going where only He can take us and seeing what only He can make and allowing Him to break us.
It is mixing what we know with what we can learn and what we don’t know with His wisdom. It is taking the values we hold dear and seeking to understand why we possess them and the privileges we take for granted and sharing them with others in new and more profound ways.
It is being vulnerable and transparent and realizing our shortcomings are His long suit and our frailties are His strengths. It is partnering and positioning not to be in front but to listen and learn and grow and become something and someone that resembles more of Him.
It is walking on ice with the knowledge we will slide and fall and bruise and bleed, but the healing will be all worth it.