Have you ever walked on a trail in a park without any idea where it led or how long it was to get to the end of it? If so, have you always seen it through or have you ever turned back?
I went through this recently with my partner at a place called Crane Creek, which I guess back in the day was a beautiful beach that people often went to. Nowadays though it’s a wildlife preserve and a place I occasionally go to, just to see a little of God’s unspoiled beauty that still remains on our planet. But back to the question I posed.
My partner and I were walking on this trail at Crane Creek the other day without any idea how long it was or where it ended. We had opted to take a stroll on this boardwalk-like trail on a very warm day, that actually turned into a much longer one than we originally thought. Nevertheless, about 30 minutes into it, my partner suggested we turn around and go back in the direction we came, as he felt it wasn’t going to end any time soon. But somehow my inner guidance felt differently and instead told him to keep the faith, as I believed we were almost there. He balked a few more times with each strange bend on this trail, but eventually he finally did see the parking lot off in the distance. When we ultimately reached it, I could tell he was overly relieved.
Why I find this so interesting is because I think it’s a lot like our own spiritual journeys in life. I truly believe each of our journeys consist of a bunch of smaller paths that we walk on as we move forward. But sometimes we find ourselves on one of those paths that seems like it’s never going to end, especially when it’s also filled with a ton of painful obstacles. When this happens, it’s common for many of us to turn around and go back in the other direction we came, because at least with that, we know where we’ve been. But unfortunately, the only thing that usually comes out of doing that is even greater frustration.
I’ve been on a part of my spiritual journey now for so long that over the past few months, I’ve often thought about turning around and going back in the direction I came. During each of those moments, my mind has frequently wandered to thoughts of taking drugs, drinking alcohol, having promiscuous sex, numbing myself on medications, or even killing myself. Yet I haven’t done any of the above because like that Crane Creek trail I was on the other day that eventually did end, I know there will be an end to this part of my spiritual journey as well. And ultimately, the last thing I want to do is turn around when the clearing could be just beyond where I’m currently at.
So like those trails in parks we may occasionally find ourselves on with no idea where it leads or how long it really is, the reality is there’s always a clearing and an end to each of them. Just like I believe there is to every path on our spiritual journeys in life, even the ones that have lasted for as long as they have. Thus no matter how difficult things may seem right now, the important thing is to keep moving forward, one step at a time, and trust that God will get us to the end, as more than not, it’s usually closer than we think…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson