My Grandpa was a wonderful guy. He passed many years ago. But, if he were still alive, yesterday would have been his 111th birthday. A self-made man, I learned many things from him.
Something I heard him say many times was, “It’s a long road that doesn’t have a turn in it.” As a little boy, I didn’t understand what he meant. It was an odd statement to me, but I didn’t take the time to try to figure it out.
As I got older, I realized that it was something he said in response to unfortunate circumstances. Perhaps someone had lost their job, or lost a loved one, or encountered some other calamity. I eventually connected the dots and found his wisdom in this little gem of a saying.
First, Grandpa was saying that life is a long journey…i.e., a long road. Often times, it’s a straight road. When I think of long, straight roads…I think boring…mind-numbing. Long, straight roads don’t test or challenge us. They don’t make us better drivers.
Secondly, he’s stating that if you’re on the same road long enough, you’ll eventually encounter a turn. Such is life – life is full of turns. Turns allow us to avoid danger. They can be exciting. Turns change the scenery and point us toward different (and often better) places. Turns test us, challenge us and make us better drivers.
This was Grandpa’s way of providing encouragement. Life is a long road. If you live long enough, you’re going to experience twists and turns. But take heart; a road with no turns is long, boring and doesn’t teach you to navigate in the real world.
So, the next time your road – your life – takes a turn, take heart and remember what my Grandpa said. It’s a long road that doesn’t have a turn in it.