Reflection 004. No path? Just take the next step.

Photo by Paul Tyreman on Unsplash

Just had a scary thought. It stopped me in my mental tracks and made me take notice. I realized in an instant that all my life I’ve been asking god to show me my path. I have expected God to have it all mapped out for me with clear, long-term goals, project-sized chunks, benchmarks and a long, clear list of next actions to take.

But I just realized that this may not be at all what God wants. Such a roadmap might not be the best thing for my spiritual growth. How much trust does it take to complete a drawing when all you have to do is connect the dots?

No. I think God is calling me to do something scarier: I think God is calling me to make my path while walking. I think God is giving me freedom not so I can stumble around in the semi-gloom of this glass-darkly existence, but so that I can choose my way based on what draws me forward.

I think what I am trying to come to terms with is this: there is no pre-ordained path which God has prepared for us to walk in. Not in the realm of career, not in the realm of relationships and not in the realm of other personal choices. God has given us the freedom to choose our own adventure.

And that is the scariest thing I can think of, right now.

Why is this scary to me?

Well, this means that I might spend the rest of my life wandering. I might run the risk of a very interesting and picaresque life where I chase thing after thing after thing. Yes, this is a real risk. But somehow, I think that God has implanted in our souls a set of interests and desires that propel us along a path of our own making. Some of our paths will look more coherent than others. Some of our paths will look and feel like the warren of a rabbit with its twists and turns and underground chambers and dead ends and occasional bursts into sunlight. And that’s okay.

Something tells me that the better we know ourselves, and the better we get to know the divine, the more fulfilling our paths will be. We run the risk—when we search for the one, true path God has mapped out for us—of stumbling upon someone else’s path or, worse, someone else’s misguided idea of what a path should look like for us.

I think God wants us to discover our paths for ourselves. Scratch that. I don’t think there is a path to discover for each of us; I think, instead, there are infinite paths waiting for us to nail one down by taking the next step.

Where will your foot fall next?

Reflection 004. No path? Just take the next step.

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