Monday, November 29, 2010

Napkin Scrawl #27 -- Lighting Our Path

Our lives are full of many paths laid out before us. Which direction we choose depends on decisions we make during the duration of our lives. We find that many paths do lead to the same outcome, yet others do not. Some paths, though they lead to a common goal, might be longer than another might, but they still meet that common goal.

Now, consider that this path is dark, unclear, muddled in some way, perhaps even distorted. You know you must go forward because there is nothing behind you. The past leads you nowhere. You could stay where you stand right now, living with what you have right now, never changing, just accepting. Oddly though, that in and of itself, is a decision as well. Therefore, it still keeps us moving in a forward motion.

However, we know that our lives require more.

Say that our paths, throughout our lifetime, are illuminated by various kinds of lights. Bright ones, dim ones, various colored ones, warm ones, and cool ones. Some of these lights may glow brightly. Others are steady, consistent glows lighting a smaller portion of our paths. Some lights draw us to them because they may shine brightly or they make us feel secure. Others we avoid because of how they make us feel. Each light has its benefits…and each its own hindrances. We make our decisions to walk down a path based on what we can see on that path. These lights represent people and opportunities that are on each path.

One light burns so brightly, it brings us happiness. It brings us excitement and clarity, making everything visible and plain to see. Nevertheless, a light can only burn so bright and only for a short time then eventually, it burns out, sometimes leaving us in the dark. In most cases, that darkness isn’t long or scary. You just keep moving on until another light illuminates our path. Other times, the darkness is so dark, so muddled, and so scary, we are afraid to move forward. We fear the things that may or may not be in front of us. We fear we’ll walk off our path, perhaps ending our journey.

Off in the distance, we see faint lights that glow, but because we are in the dark, we can’t see how to get to those low glowing places, or that next point in our path.

Then, from nowhere really, you see a dim light moving toward you. The closer it gets, the bigger and brighter it becomes. It brings excitement and joy to your heart, and peace to your soul. You find yourself drawn to it, forgetting the darkness that you stand in. You find yourself rushing for the light that brings you peace. No other light in the distance seems to matter, but that one, that little moving light is the one you need.

You discover that small light is a person who holds a flashlight or lantern, walking his or her own path. They are the ones who stop along the way, getting to know the people who cross their paths. They stop to comfort and encourage us. Often and when necessary, they help us along our paths by guiding, advising, encouraging, or just listening. Sometimes, that person stays with you the whole way, through the bright times and the dark times, always there to shine their light on your path as you walk through life. Sometimes that person changes, and you meet another to walk with you. And sometimes, that person needs you to hold the light whilst they determine their path.

None of us was ever suppose to walk alone. We need our friends, sometimes to guide us, sometimes to carry us, but always to support us and help us see the way.

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