Our Path to Walk

Our path consists of choices. We choose the way we think is best and hope it works out in our favor. Sometimes our choices are bad. They may have seemed good at the time, but ultimately, they take us down a route we never intended. When our choices demand payment, we are faced with a dilemma. How do we survive? How do we navigate the current road so that we may continue to our destination?

There are times the universe gives us a nudge, often not gently. It tells us that we are not doing what we were designed to do. It tells us to stop playing it safe and go do what we were meant to do. To ignore this calling is to play a dangerous game with forces more powerful than us.

I have mentioned the prophet Jonah before. God told him to go one way; he went the other. Jonah chose not to listen to his calling. Thinking he could get away with it, he boarded a ship and fled town. God sent a storm. Not worried, Jonah decided to take a nap. But the storm was a bad one and the sailors panicked. They drew lots to find out who was to blame. Of course, it was Jonah. He was the reason for the storm. Next thing you know, Jonah was taking a salt bath. And if things couldn’t get any worse, a really big fish swallowed him up.

Have you ever found yourself in the belly of a whale? We all go through it on our hero’s journey. Our choices lead us down a path that turns to brambles and thorns. The sun goes behind the trees, and the goblins of our imagination come out to haunt us. This is the belly of Jonah’s whale. Imagine being in there. It is dark. It stinks. If you are prone to motion sickness, this is not the place for you. All you can do there is sit. Sit and wait. There is no one to talk to, so you are left alone to your thoughts. You reflect on the past and how you got there. You imagine the things you will do if you ever get out. But the past and the future are no help to you now. So, you sit. And wait. You still your mind in the present because that is all you have.

Jonah got out of the whale. He went to do the things he was supposed to do. Likewise, the sun will rise again on the morrow, and we will find our own way back onto the path.

God could have sent another to take Jonah’s place, but it was Jonah that He wanted. Nobody else could have walked his path. Only Jonah. In the same way, nobody can walk our paths. It is our journey.

In an east meets west post, consider these words:

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

Buddha

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

Friday morning 3/23/2018

Friday morning 3/23/2018-

• Woke up at 3:40 a.m.

• Met client at gym at 4:30. This is not currently a paid service.

• Drove to work and meditated in parking lot from 6:10 to 6:30.

• Saw a need and helped out. Tweeted about this without realizing that a connection might be made and it could be perceived as arrogant. This created some unnecessary anxiety, as it wasn’t my intention. Now it is something I need to sort out in my mind.

The tweet was: Difference a year makes. Now if I see a need I don’t hesitate to help. Before I was selfish, reluctant, or procrastinated until it was too late. This is the path I was searching for.

What was the “before” I mentioned? There has been times in my life where I just wasn’t able to help. I wasn’t in the right place mentally, spiritually, or physically. I wanted to, but I did nothing. What are our wants if they are not backed up by action? Faith without works is dead (see James 2:14-26). Sometimes I procrastinated on it. I told myself I would just not today. The day never came. For some reason, not helping always plagued my conscience. I told my wife a few months ago that it was one of my greatest regrets in life. I also told her I wanted to live my life in such a way that I no longer have those types of regrets. It is similar to meeting a client at 4:30 in the morning. My drive is to be able to help others. This is a full 180 change from my younger version. That version was motivated by self-interest.

I believe my anxiety stemmed from how others would perceive me. I didn’t want to toot my horn and say, “Look at me and what I have done.” If my intention was to say that I am growing up, getting better, and trying to do the right things, then who cares what others think (if they even thought it, which is the more likely scenario). Here is my insecurity: worrying about what others think of me. This is good. I have identified another weakness that I can work on.

I am reminded again of “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. I read this book a couple of weeks ago, and it is still fresh on my mind. Here’s Steven:

I learned this from Robert McKee. A hack, he says, is a writer who second-guesses his audience. When the hack sits down to work, he doesn’t ask himself what’s in his own heart. He asks what the market is looking for.

I have tried this in the past. I have tried to tailor my writing to my audience. I found myself not writing what was in my heart, but rather what I thought they wanted to hear. I was being a hack. I was not being authentic. I could feel it in my writing. I didn’t like it, but I thought it was the way. It was not the path I wanted to be on, and it certainly is not the path I am on now. I see my path before me. I know the direction it goes and where it leads. I will not turn to the right nor to the left. While there is still breath in me, I will stick to the path.