“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Shel Silverman said there was a wonderful, magical place that could only begin when the sidewalk ended.
It was a part of the world untainted with neither concrete nor conformity. The place where your red cotton sneakers skid one last time across a hot, rough cement, kicking up that one dirty pebble that guided your step right into the lush, green grass with the sun beaten tips.
It was the place where the moon-bird rested – the path not taken. The sun afire with hot crimson red. The breeze as crisp as the Arctic air sucked in just after you’d unwrapped a candy cane.
If the real wonder comes at the end of all we’ve come to know and trust, then why are we so afraid of sidewalks that end in green pasture, great forests unknown and bid us to come discover life in a whole new way?
I think it’s because the sidewalks in our world are safe. They are the place where we can walk knowingly, finding signs that promise rests ahead, roadside cafes and sanctioned forests for picnics and bird-watching. But on the appointed sidewalks you will find no lush green grass. You will find no sun beaten tips.
Sure, within its sanctioned parks you will find vibrant blue jays and red robins. You will find brown thrashers and black crows feasting on fallen apples. But you will not find the moon-bird. She lives in the secret place, where concrete is no more and crowds are unheard of. She thrives in the cold, Arctic air of a shady, sundrenched forest.
The scary thing about life beyond the sidewalk is you will see no signs assuring you of your way. You will find no marked highways or byways upon which to find your way home. No familiar doors on which to knock. No coat racks on which to hang your hat. It will, at first, be incredibly scary. You, at the beginning, will find yourself completely lost.
But the greatest revelations in your life come from the last dirty pebble kicked up from your sneaker, when you have stepped feet first into a lush green grass, when you have dove soul first into life beyond regularity. You are going to see things that no one else has ever seen before. It is here you will realize you were never really lost at all.
Found by the call of life beyond the ordinary. Found by the moon-bird with her big, white eyes. Found by the sundrenched forests. Found by the simple realization that you were never meant for the sidewalk. Made instead to live off the beaten path, the path with leaves untouched, the path appointed by God, sanctified by His majesty and dripping in His wonder.
When you are afraid of leaving behind your comfort zone, when you miss the safety of the concrete with its lone asphalt-flowers popping up from a broken crack . . . keep walking. Take this instead as sign that you are headed somewhere where flowers grow free, wild and unkempt. Keep following the chalk-white arrows. Keep discovering new ways to live beyond the old and step boldly into the new knowing there is nothing to fear, knowing all beautiful beginnings come where the sidewalk ends.