I’m walking the narrow path.
It’s not so easy- you have to watch your step and make sure to keep out of the way of those creeping brambles, lies that want to hold you back, clinging to your clothes seemingly innocently but with intent to pierce. To take the best route means travelling with a guide, one who has trodden the same path before and who gently and patiently shows the way if you keep looking and listening to his words.
Others might pass nearby, and choose to go through the wide gate. It’s easier, more attractive, so much more fulfilling just to go the way you want- they say. A nice easy amble, time spent with self in a pleasure filled pursuit. They might wonder why you’re choosing that tricky way- why bother when there’s a wide path, which is attractive and smooth looking.
But you know that the one in front of you holds the secret. To that magical destination full of riches and wonders, beauty and joy which come only by walking this way.
You know that while there are bumps to navigate, your hands are supported by your guide. The waving branches are lined with daggers to be vigilant for- but that the way is lined with life, abundance growing all around the wayside. Bursting forth from all kinds of dark corners of the wilderness comes colour. The more you look around, the more you enjoy the path together, the more wonders you see peeking out of every crack and corner that you pass by. Stopping to pick the flowers, gathering armfuls of beautiful distractions to take with you, you don’t notice the shadows slipping lower. More and more pile into your arms, stooped low and intoxicated by their alluring scent.
A voice calls your name and your head is so full with the wonders that you almost miss it. Looking up, you straighten quickly and rush to catch up before the path diverges. The bundles of bright beauty which you gathered in their peak are fading, wilting as you glance down at them- you cast them aside to reach him as the glimpse of his back gets nearer and nearer. Those once precious flower heads are lost to the wayside from where they came as you reach him again, heart racing that bit faster and the blood roaring in your ears. The light comes streaming down, warming your face as you smile at that of the one who gently points the way.
The way may be long and somewhat arduous at times, there will be times when all you can do is rest in the arms of your guide, gather your strength for the next day, knowing that he will carry you and give you the strength that’s beyond your own abilities. There may be points when you can see another travelling the wide path, and wonder if that was actually a better way. But step by step you will walk together, and whilst you may cry with exhaustion, or argue or question your leader’s knowledge of this adventure- you will step further on, step by step, at times carried on his back.
You’ll reach more options, paths which meander off into different corners, each unique. You stride off down through an archway of trees, before returning to where your patient guide waits, consulting him and then taking the correct path together. Other times you don’t realise your mistake, finding many more thorny bushes and roots to trip over, before your guide, smiling kindly, shows you a way to get back to the way you were travelling together, with his compass leading the way.
You sit on verdant grass banks, cupping water in your hands to drink from crisp springs and recharge, have a chance to look one another in the face and listen, to be together. Simple moments in rest give a spring your step and you realise that this journey here is beautiful, whether you ever make the final destination which also promises beauty. The path is narrow but it’s bountiful if you remember to look around at those beautiful hints, blossoming twigs, dewdrops forming on leaves and sun casting shadows through branches.
Finally after much travelling, and resting, many hours of conversation and companionable silences, your guide, you and your saviour will reach your destination. Home, where the light is left on as the velvet dusk envelops, and your family wait, prepared and eagerly awaiting your arrival. Love flows from that glade of mystery, which you wondered of for so long, hearing only rumours and snippets of what wonders it would hold. Now you are there, all you know is that it is home, it is where you belong and where you are fully loved. Only looking at the face of the one beside you, you know that you were fully loved the whole way.