Sunday, January 17, 2016

January 17, 2016 - Staying the Course

If your path is ever lonely, empty, and cold, remember that it is still a path.  Stick to the path and keep going.  You could try to go back the way you came, but if things had been so wonderful before, you would have stayed where you were.  You could try to forge a new way into the woods.  Some people do that and some are successful.  A great many are not.  But there is honor in forging your own path through the woods, whether you succeed or not.

There is also honor in staying the course.  You are where you are because you placed yourself there.  You may not be able to choose whether the sun is shining or it’s raining or it’s snowing or who lives or dies, but you have chosen your own path.  Step by step you forged the way, one foot in front of the other.

Keep straight on the path.

There are pitfalls, slippery spots, icy and dangerous spots, muddy places, and occasionally easy walking.  Trees sometimes fall into the path, and you must climb over them.  Sometimes the path gets completely washed out in a flood and you have to wait until the waters recede before you continue onward.  Sometimes the path forks, and you are faced with another choice that will add to the shape of your destiny.  Take one fork and you are on a path leading in a certain direction.  Take the other fork, and you go in a completely different direction with a different outcome.  But you can’t take both forks.  You must decide, and decide you will.

Then onward you go again.  On your path.  Your unique way carved into the world.  It’s no use wondering whether other people have easier paths.  Oh, they are only too happy to show you how good their path is, but don’t be fooled.  They have as many difficulties as you do.  If they didn’t, you wouldn’t even see them because they’d be too busy enjoying themselves.

And it’s no use complaining.  Enjoy the sunshine when it comes.  Revel in it.  Enjoy the greenery when it passes through.  Enjoy the flowers.  Enjoy what your path has to offer, all the secret parts, the tiny animals, and the mushrooms.  Then when the rain and snow come and the path gets difficult again, tighten your belt, adjust your hat, and keep going.  Stay the course.  Only the fool gives up and goes no further.  There is honor in continuing on your path even when you are all alone and afraid and tired and cold, even when you cannot find one ray of hope.

I never heard a ballad sung about a fool.  It’s the brave men and women who continue onward in the face of difficulty and hardships that warm our hearts at night and give us courage and strength as we sit around our campfires and ready ourselves for the next leg of the trial.  It’s the brave men and women who we sing about, who inspire us and give us hope.  It’s the journey that makes the hero, not the destination.  You are one of the heroes.

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