Traveler, there is no path. The path is made by walking. ― Antonio Machado, Borders of a dream: Selected Poems.
There is a romantic idealism in all of us that conjures up altruistic notions of a divine will for our lives that snuggly fits into a perfectly designed prescriptive, that it is only attainable if you act according to certain rules of engagement. Any deviation from the guidelines could cause you to be somewhat disappointed or destined to live out life at a below par existence. A plan B of sorts.
For example, the theory of a plan A that often over-promises a divine providence has also crept into our relational constructs by touting the idea of a ‘soul mate’ as one single individual who has the perfect mix of genes and personality to fulfil your dreams and match your wildest expectations.
Life is not a perfectly scripted or predestined agenda from on high but an often random and wonderfully risky adventure of discovery that includes some chaos and clarity all jumbled together. We have to somehow trust that our decision making process is guided by the transcendent inclination of free will that is intrinsically hard wired into all of us. God is not so much an extrinsic interventionist but an intrinsic chaperone that works in tandem with our conscience, intuition, intellect, emotions and longings.
“Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?” ― Garth Nix, Sabriel
The pathway of our unfolding life is a medley of instinctive calls that are a blend of experimental possibilities involving some outrageous guesswork and some courageous risk taking. Sometimes I feel like my life is a exercise in happenstance where I am bumping into opportunities and odd moments as I clumsily stumble into my becoming. The trajectory I find myself on has somehow been waiting for me to cotton on and enjoy the surroundings. Life always finds a way to include you in its purpose, even if that purpose has a degree of tragedy involved. Some days I feel like a constant conundrum of dissonance, where I am surprised by moments of amazement and at other times perplexed by the scenarios that emerge of which I feel powerless to rectify or reconcile. There is no perfect screenplay for my journey or way to avoid the danger and detours around the obstacles that test my resolve and willingness to trust the process.
“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.” ― Guy Gavriel Kay, Tigana
Someone once said that 'all-things-work-together-for-the-good.’ This is not so much a good that we self prescribe based on our societal expectations or cultural preferences, but one that has been hidden in the incarnation of God that we call life. The word ‘good' is such a loaded term, severely biased by an interpretation that resists or refuses to include difficulty or uncertainty in the blend.
The pathways we all walk are a combination of the good and not-so-good moments, experiences that enlarge our capacity to be comfortable with the broad range of emotions that emerge when we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. The good news is that we are not alone on this journey, many others are accompanying us along the way. It pays to slow the pace sometimes and interact with those who you find in this new space. By sharing the weight of your thoughts and concerns you are inviting others in to share the wisdom of their pilgrimage and somehow give you strength for the moment.
There is no sign that says 'stick to the path', you make the path as you put one foot in front of the other. Step out and trust the ground beneath your feet.
‘Blessed are those who lives are roads (pathways) you travel...'