The straight and narrow

I know the path: it is straight and narrow. it is like the edge of a sword. I rejoice to walk on it. I weep when I slip. God’s word is: “He who strives never perishes.” I have implicit faith in that promise. Though, therefore, from my weakness I fail a thousand times, I shall not lose faith —Mahatma Gandhi

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(interior shot of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France / Julie Cook / 2011)

My life has woven a path often wide, at times directly straight, yet more curvy than not.
It has been laid out before me and I have often consciously chosen to ignore strategically placed mile markers.
Directions have been carefully plotted yet sadly, regrettably, purposefully ignored, as Self thought it knew best.

Easy is wide and many may join as the path has often been not my own.
Sometimes following, occasionally leading, Self and I have walked hand in hand.

Steep and rocky with views far and wide the path has lead me along jagged coastline as well as peaceful wooded glen, all the while as I travel forward, onward and upward.

On the occasion when I find myself in a familiar area, realizing that walking in circles has been my lot, bearings must be quickly taken while corrections are too often begrudgingly made.

And travel on I go, as Self constantly chatters “follow me, I know the way.”

As this life path continues on, the path more narrow does become–as congestion and jockeying for position is the constant battle. Quiet and solitude now replaced with noise of the masses, all seemingly traveling in my same direction.

Is this now how I know I am on the right path, as the myriad of travelers push and shuffle as one, carrying me along on their endless wave of self propulsion. Self has decided that to follow is the easiest way. Touting that the old adage is true, safety seems to lie in numbers.
Yet there is one I see who veers off in a different direction.
A few straggle behind him.
Over his shoulder he speaks to those who have chosen to follow on his journey–proclaiming that he knows the way Home.

Ahh home.

Has that what this journey has been all about. . .traveling far and wide, eventually making our way back home?
But why are the masses traveling along a different path?
Where do they think they go?
Their way does seem brighter, more alluring, as they mindlessly race toward a precipice no one seems to notice in the distance ahead.

All the while the lone traveler continues offering to any who linger behind a new and different path. He does not promise that it will be an easy journey, as darkness will descend from time to time, but He offers up his lantern as the beacon pointing Home.

This as I stand at the fork.
Self pulling me to follow after the masses. “There are more of them, they must know what they are doing” Self continues with the constant protest. Yet the lone traveler, who has now slowed up for me to come his way, seems to exude a calm and peace about his choice. . .his openness and confidence of his particular path of choice seems to reverberate from somewhere along the way.

I stand looking back and forth, as the sun slowly fades from the evening sky. Self takes off, following the others as I alone step forward along the path of the lone traveler. Come, he offers, my way is narrow but the reward is great.

And travel on I go, now hand in hand with this lone traveler, anxious to finally head for Home.

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:14