In the mornings when we wake up, we set our feet on the cold wood floors of our rented home nestled deep in a community-neighborhood in the middle of our city, and we embark on the good work of our day.
We take things slow and steady, and because one child is a morning person and one is a night owl, every sunrise is a little bit different, a little unsteady, a little challenging.
But we’ve chosen our way and we will cherish what we have.
It is an exhausting world and time we live in.
We are busy and hurried from the moment we open our eyes; even in our sleep we plan and calculate our days to achieve the most success.
But what does success look like when we’ve chosen a different path?
We take our mornings seriously as a family, and because it’s important to us that we choose wisely how we’ll spend that time, we take it slow, read books and drink coffee and eat breakfast, snap puzzle pieces into place and walk the husky three or four times because he’s old and needs our attention.
We make life choices out of necessity, by reading our bodies and our souls and making decisions about what is best for us, for our kids, for our pets, for our relationships, for our environment; and for the Curtice family, it means we’re swimming against the current in a lot of ways.
I do not think the idea of the straight and narrow only appears in the Christian religious tradition. I see, even in our western culture, the idea that if you’re different from the rest of the pack and the norms of a place or a people, you’ve left the good path and you’ll be ostracized for it.
The boys and I have been reading a lot of Native American stories about those people who chose another way and found themselves-
the boy who should have been a warrior but became an artist;
the girl who should have been a woman of the tribe but found her soul with the horses;
the outcast, ugly sister who became the bride of the most sought-after hunter around.
Their paths were set until everyone realized that something different was being asked of them, and they had a choice to make:
they could ignore their calling and do what they were told, or they could muster their bravery and go.
I’ve seen in the few short years that my boys have been alive how different they are from each other.
Whatever the straight path seems to be, they will both walk from it. They will make their own ways into the world and they will do it humbly, I pray.
And my prayer is that they find what their journey should be, not what our culture tells them their journey should be.
And that is a very difficult decision, indeed.
If we search our own histories enough, we see moments in our lives when we’ve taken the other route, done something unexpected, maybe became outsiders to the people who always thought we’d make the better choice.
But I think it’s time we ask ourselves what that better choice looks like, where we are headed, what path is right for us to take and what path should never have been trodden in the first place.
We learn and we step forward, or sometimes we step back, and if it’s necessary, we shift into a mode of living that takes into account what is best for us and those we love.
If we need slow mornings and steady breathing and quiet, we are not lazy, but we are settled into a different path, another way.
If our minds process things slower or if we create in a way that is unique to those around us, it is not a curse, but an opportunity to change the world.
And there, the minorities are lifted up and appreciated, the tired find rest again, those who are on the outside are welcomed into a spacious place that calls them beloved,
and something of Kingdom finds itself on earth, all around, in the corners and where we least expect it, even as our feet are lifted from the bed and set to the ground to begin another day.