Journeying along the Path

A few short months ago, I vividly recall tweeting, “Ever feel like you’ve been given a message, but you haven’t yet found your audience?  Yea, me too.”  That tweet attempted to communicate my extensive pent-up frustration and questioning.  I clearly knew the path I wanted to walk, but didn’t know how to even access that path.  I longed not only to write, but to be read.  And while I plugged away, straining and struggling with each individual syllable, I felt like a disoriented hiker, unsure whether I had wandered off the correct trail, unsure whether I was even walking in the right direction.

But what a difference a few months can make.  My perspective is changing.  I’m not as focused on finding the right trail. It isn’t that the trail has become more visible, easier to follow, or less important – it hasn’t.  Whereas before I could see the path far ahead of me, but I wasn’t sure that it was the right path, I now know I’m on the right path, but can’t hardly see where to next place my foot.  I’m learning to be faithful in taking one step at a time, not knowing the condition of the path, or where it eventually leads.

As I walk along the path, often feeling like I’m blindfolded, I firmly grasp my Guide.  And it is He, my ever-faithful traveling companion, I realize in delight, who is actually holding firmly to me.  My relationship with God is expanding and freeing me as my understanding and knowledge of who He is continues to grow and multiply.  I’m learning to see God not only as my traveling companion, but in the gathering storm clouds, the markers along the trail, the beauty of the wildflowers that dot the hillside, and even in the far-off laughter of children….

Have you ever considered your life as a path?  What kind of path are you walking?  And what is your relationship with the Lord, your traveling companion, right now?

As you imagine your current path, also pay attention to the “weather” you’re experiencing.  What’s the weather like?  For me, the weather reminds me of mid-summer nights at dusk.  With darkness closing in, thunderheads gathering, the majesty, beauty and grandeur of the Creator is prominently displayed.  Lightning flashes and thunder rolls.  A cool, revitalizing rain creates puddles on the dry ground.  Sometimes even hail pelts the trail.  The stifling hot temperatures are cooled by the welcome storm, and even in my blindfolded state, I can enjoy the awesome display of God’s power and creativity.  To some, thunderstorms invoke fear; for me, thunderstorms invoke awe, respect and reverence.  Thunderstorms are unpredictable and always surprising.

Thunderstorms create moments of great anticipation and expectation.  And indeed, they speak metaphorically to where I currently find myself.  There is great anticipation and expectation.  There is unpredictability and an element of surprise.  But there is great beauty and majesty as well.

I don’t know what’s around the bend of my path, but slowly I am realizing the value of enjoying the moment, rather than constantly straining forward.  Today I embrace who I am and who I am becoming – a speaker, a writer, a pastor, a spiritual director.  My speaking calendar currently has 5 speaking events scheduled over the next few months.  While that’s a typical month for many, I relish this moment.  My blog is twenty-eight page views away from reaching 10,000 views.  While that’s a typical week for many, I celebrate this milestone.

What moments and milestones do you need to relish and celebrate today?  Perhaps you need to be encouraged that enjoying and appreciating the present doesn’t preclude us from growth.  It doesn’t mean we’re abandoning our goals, or settling for the status-quo.  But it does mean we’re acknowledging the beauty of now, not just longing for the hope of tomorrow.

Spend some time today considering your life as a path.  What’s the path like?  Where is your Traveling Companion?  What weather are you experiencing?  How are you enjoying the journey – not just anticipating the destination?