So here we are, on this journey of a lifetime and we stub our toe as we test the treacherous waters that separate us from our destination. We've grown skeptical of our guide who asked for our trust as we compared our crossing point, Point Me with another traveler's crossing point at Point Them. Last week, I presented a series of questions regarding how we react when we reach obstacles on our journey.
Daunted by our first setback, many of us never put a toe in the water again.
There are so many things to consider, I almost don't know where to begin. I am going to start with choice and perseverance. Do you continue your journey once you've been discouraged by the stubbing of your toe? You've only put that one toe in and already there's a problem. Do you decide then and there that the whole journey is futile?
Many of us have been in this spiritual place. We begin to put forth the effort to achieve something better and immediately come across a problem. Daunted by our first setback, many of us never put a toe in the water again. We erroneously conclude that because we've had a problem, then the goal we were aiming towards isn't really meant for us and that the stubbing of our toe is proof of that.
We would rather remain comfortable even if remaining comfortable excludes progress.
The stubbing of our toe gives us permission to bow out. We convince ourselves that nothing we want should cause us pain. We would rather remain comfortable even if remaining comfortable excludes progress. Many folks who have accomplished great things will testify that it wasn't without struggle. They would say that at times the obstacles seemed insurmountable but they persevered anyway.
Most of us are taught early in life that anything truly worth having is worth working for; that the best things in life don't necessarily come easy. If we want to cross the river to get to that awesome destination, then we must be ready for whatever comes our way. We must tend to that toe and mentally and spiritually gird ourselves to continue our journey.
Maybe that stubbing of the toe was a gentle warning that we should be careful. Perhaps instead of thinking that the rest of our trip will be rife with problems, we should consider this gentle warning a blessing in disguise. We learn from the beginning of the journey what to watch out for and we become careful not to stub our toe again. We therefore, benefit from the pain of stubbing that toe. We can use that pain to prepare and strengthen us rather than allowing it to deter us.
We can never allow one mishap to keep us from moving forward
It is our choice. Do we complain and turn back or do we persevere? I don't know about you but when I'm truly in pursuit of a goal, I choose to persevere. Just because there was a rough start, that doesn't mean the whole journey will be difficult. We'll never know if we quit because of one stubbed toe.
Remaining focused on the reason for the journey can help us overcome the obstacles we may encounter. We have to encourage ourselves. We must learn to cheer ourselves on. We must always keep in mind the overall goal and keep pushing. We can never allow one mishap to keep us from moving forward. Perseverance is always a choice. What choice will you make?
Imagine there is an extraordinary place you wish to go. You've only heard about this amazing place from trusted others but it sounds like just the spot for you. Because you've never been, you don't know exactly how to get there. You've only been pointed to a path that those trusted others have assured you will lead to the desired destination.
Beginning the Journey
Fortunately, you were blessed with a guide to help you complete this unpredictable journey. The two of you encounter another traveler and guide who are also headed to the same mysterious place. Together, you all approach a rapid and dangerous river. Your guide tells you to cross the river at a point, let's say Point Me. The other guide tells their traveler to cross the river at Point Them.
You look down at the river and notice that Point Them looks like smooth sailing. It seems that the distance between the other side of the river and Point Them looks shorter and easier than at Point Me, the place your guide wants you to cross. You throw your guide a puzzling look. You are definitely questioning their judgment. Your guide responds with only two words: ”Trust me”.
An Obstacles Arises
The other traveler seems to be getting along well so you get antsy and decide to cross. You dip a toe in to test the waters and you stub it on a rock. You're only one toe in and you're already suffering an injury that could make the rest of your trip difficult.
What do you do? How do you react when you reach this obstacle? I'm sure you've figured out by now that this story is a metaphor for our spiritual journey. There is a myriad of choices we can make and a myriad of reasons why we make them. Over the next couple of weeks, I will use this story as a starting point to examine our decision making processes when our journey is hindered.
Questions To Ask Ourselves
In the meantime, here are a few questions I will be asking myself: Should I keep trying to cross at Point Me or should I try Point Them? Does my destination now seem less worth the journey? If so, should I give up on the trip altogether? Do I blame my guide for leading me across treacherous waters? Do I blame myself for trusting my guide?
Please take a few minutes to consider this scenario and to answer those questions. If any additional questions come to mind, by all means, please share them in the “Comments” section below. See you next week as we begin to dissect this story and to explore spiritual possibilities.
I want to help uplift, inspire and empower others and to help leave the world a little better than I found it. I am an author, deep thinker & optimist. I know God is love. I am the author of "Candidreams: I Remember the Beginning" and "Role Reversal: Turn Pain Into Power".
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Featuring original artwork by Ran H.