The road that stretches before the feet of a man is a challenge to his heart long before it tests the strength of his legs. Our destiny is to run to the edge of the world and beyond, off into the darkness, sure for all our blindness, secure for all our helplessness, strong for all our weakness, gaily in love for all the pressure on our hearts. Saint Thomas in My Way of Life
One of the treasures I found when cleaning out my father in law’s home was a great little book that belonged to Chris’s Grandpa Ralph–the quote above came from the very first chapter of it. It is an itty bitty book but I love to keep it in my tote bag and pull it out and read random selections from it from time to time.
It always inspires me to read the words of others. There are so many wise people in the world and so many people have just the way with words that I long for. I can read something like this and then try to expound upon what it means to me but the usual case is that it leaves me feeling inadequate .
Today’s selection talks about the road that is ahead of each of us. It is indeed a challenge. Perhaps the biggest challenge is the not knowing where that road will lead. I have been led down many roads over the years.
- I have done things I never dreamed I would do.
- I have been places I only dreamed about.
- I have made friends with people that are unlike me.
- I have felt the warmth of a smile when I most needed one and the touch of a hand when I longed for the warmth of that touch.
- I have done things that make me proud but I have also done things that make me ashamed.
- I have loved more than I ever imagined possible.
Currently I think I am more aware of the road that I am traveling. I have such empathy for those who are traveling a road with challenges. So many of my friends have really difficult situations that they are dealing with and in my own family I have shared a bit about my own mom and brother in law. While I can not make their road smooth and straight I can offer my empathy and be there for them as they journey.
The road ahead is unsure—the blind corners and edges exist. It takes faith and discipline to go on that road. It is an incredible road this road called life. I wonder where it will lead me tomorrow.
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28 CommentsLeave a comment
We never know what lies ahead but we have to keep going and trusting things will all work out. I tend to fret about the future too much and am trying to learn to live in the moment. I love the quote. Sounds like a great little book to have around. Timeless.
It is a neat little book and it makes me think of Grandpa Ralph every time I see it.
That makes it extra special.
What a wonderful quote! That little book sounds like quite the treasure. Yes, we don’t know where a road will lead us, but as Darlene commented, we just have to believe that everything happens for a reason. And we aren’t meant to understand those reasons….yet.
YES! I love your last sentence. Three are so many things that I don’t understand and I have finally gotten to the point to realize just that. Thanks so much for your great comment!
It IS a great quote! I worry way too much, but I keep trying (as I get older) not to and to have more faith.
It’s a constant thing that I have to be aware of in my own life. I know there is much I am not even able to understand at this point and some day maybe I will but until then I guess I just have to increase my faith and rely more on God’s providence.
It is a challenge every single day for me to just trust. But i realize that God has much more wisdom about my life than I do and I need to just trust.
Sometimes we get caught up in the bumps and potholes in our path we forget about all the smooth road in between.
I enjoyed your thoughtful post and the well written with heart comments. It made me think that when we are on a road trip, we enjoy the hills and curves and changes- like the section through Virginia on the way to Florida. But not in our personal life, we like smooth and straight. Happy new week Beth
Thanks, Jena. I know that stretch of road well and yes—the hills and curves are just part of life but we can’t get complacent and think the road will always be smooth and easy. Thank you for stopping by.
Empathy, kindness and compassion are among your greatest gifts. As a recipient of all from you, I have been blessed. You have helped me through the challenges of life.
I like, especially, that you point out the need for faith to get us through difficulties. I cannot imagine life without faith. Nor can you, I know. Another friend reminds me to “Be still.” I love those two simple words from Scripture. They carry such a calming presence.
I wish for you peace and strength as you journey through these challenges with your loved ones.
Thank you as always for your very kind words. It is so easy to things in other people and not realize them in yourself and your words made my day. Faith is the key and I love your “be still” motto. I am trying to do that more often in the challenging times. And listen. I don’t listen closely enough either. Sending hugs your way.
Terrific article. It’s always good to reflect and occasionally wallow in one’s frail humanity. You are indeed the ripple that stirred my shallow pool of consciousness today. Thanks for shedding light where darkness wants to roam.
Thank you Ozzie. I am amazed that you still read my blog after all these years. Thanks for your kind comments and I am glad that my post spoke to you today. Take care, my friend.
Life would be a lot different if any of us knew the road ahead. I often look back and marvel at my life and the things I’ve done and seen. If it wasn’t for that one fateful day long ago, I may not be where I am today!
Isn’t that the truth? I think back as well and think of decisions that I made or that were made for me and how they have shaped my life in so many ways. I always try to look ahead and be positive about exactly where I am at at the moment as well. When we moved I always told the boys that we were going to a better place and that they would have even more friends . Putting a positive spin on things really does help!
Our journey on the road (both the good and the challenging) is what makes us who we are. You’ve written a wonderfully insightful post here, Beth Ann. That little book sounds like a gem.
Thanks so much. This book is a pretty inspirational little book and I love when things speak to me so clearly like this one does.
Lovely, and you are spot on with your thoughts here. One of my friends said recently, “I think it’s just important to show up for people.” He’s right. Sometimes you don’t to say anything, even. You don’t have to fix it for them, and maybe we shouldn’t even try. People need to be heard. Everyone has a story to be told (I know that from the perspective of being a writing instructor), and to honor that is a gift and ability that we have been given. We should show up for others—as we know that they will be there for us and have been. We hear of the trials of others, and we feel empathy for them, and at the same time get a whopping smack in the face of how blessed we are to be in a different place at that time. Listening, being there, being present for others: at the end of our days, that is what is so important. Yes, all of our roads are jagged and curvy. So wonderful to know that we won’t have to traverse those highways alone. We can count on the support of those who have been there before, commiserate with those who are currently traveling the same paths, and provide guidance for those who have yet to embark. Thank you for the wonderful message.
I totally agree with your friend. That is one of my own mantras–just show up. it does not matter if you don’t have the words or if you feel like you can’t do anything to fix a situation. If you are just present for someone it makes a huge difference. You also said something that I say all the time that every one has a story and sometimes we just need to listen. Thank YOU for sharing this with me. I think we are kindred spirits. 🙂
Thank you so much for the reply! I believe so! I loved reading your response!
Best wishes to you on your road…
Thank you !!!!
Your words are giving me inspiration and hope. Trying to soak in some optimism to carry forward.
I love you, Jeni. Hang in there.
Great post! What a great little book and a great reminder to all of us to trust the road.
Thanks Val. It really is a pretty neat little book and I pull it out often to read and get some inspiration.