When considering the best route is between two points (A and B) the obvious solution is a straight line. That, of course, is the shortest route, but it isn’t necessarily the best route. When we travel from one place to another, we may take the shortest route, but we might also choose a route that is faster though longer, or a more attractive route, or we may chose a route that takes us via certain friends or places of interest. The shortest route is not necessarily the best.
We humans like straight lines. Just look at a map. Whether it is railways, motorways or canals - wherever possible we opt for straight lines.
God, however, is not so given to straight lines. Think of a river: over the centuries and over the miles, rivers twist and turn with every obstacle they encounter. The wisdom of nature is that the shortest route is not necessarily the best one.
After Jesus ascended into heaven, Peter’s first inclination was to replace Judas - a like for like substitution. Interestingly, we never hear of Matthias, the substitute Apostle, again. It was ‘straight line’ thinking. A few days after this little administrative fix, God’s Spirit came. Then Peter and his colleagues were led on a twisting turning journey, the likes of which they could never have imagined. That is God’s way of doing things.
In our daily lives, every time we meet an obstacle, our human inclination is to blast it out the way and continue along our predetermined straight line. But if we pause to see the moment through God’s eyes, we may well see it as an opportunity to change direction and do something new and unexpected. God is not a God of straight lines.