“Let’s take this road,” the friend would say. Oh the fun of the “where does this road lead?” game. We would travel down rural roads surrounding our little college town in the midst of the Appalachian foothills. On afternoons when books and classes weren’t demanding our attention our sense of adventure would call. Growing up just a few miles away I knew a few of those roads, but just a few and only the ones near where I lived. Not the ones on the opposite side of town. Gas was inexpensive then or our parents paid for it so never did it cross our mind to worry about that aspect.
There was risk to this little game. It held unfamiliar roads and uncertain destinations. A game played before cell phones were the norm. Never knowing what you might find or how much time you would spend.
No this wasn’t a game to play when time called for you to make an appearance somewhere. An afternoon with no agenda was needed for this exploring.
But faith also played a part in this crazy game. Faith that we would find our way back. Faith that interesting sights would be found. Faith that we would never find ourselves lost.
I did this recently at the gardens except this time on foot. The rose garden was closed off. Signs warning of pesticides blocked entry. I was almost disappointed, but I couldn’t be. The barriers were there to protect us.
So I wandered toward another area. Finding paths I had never walked down before. Oh how they surprised me. Lilies in all colors of the rainbow in one garden. Further along colors of hydrangeas I’d never seen and time worn benches along the path offering rest beneath the shade of trees. The breeze blowing as bird songs drifted through the gardens. A perfect place to stop and just be still.
An Unfamiliar Path
How often do we ask “where will this road lead?” How many roads does God present us with and we choose not to take the risk because we can’t see what’s ahead.
I wonder if too often we choose to play it too safe. We stay stuck in a situation because it’s comfortable. We like comfortable even if deep down we’re discontent. We fear taking the risk. What if we fail? What if it’s not as easy and rosy as we thought it would be?
Storms are bound to appear when we take an unfamiliar path. Do we choose to continue on even through the storms to the path He’s given?
Really the certainty and safety of our comfort zone is nothing more than an illusion. An illusion that keeps us from experiencing more than we can imagine.
I wonder if we should ask “where does this road lead?” more often. Maybe we should choose the unfamiliar roads opening our hearts to all we might find and learn along the way. Having faith that time worn benches will be waiting when we need to rest. And having faith that we will never find ourselves lost, but perhaps on the road we were meant to travel all along.
Have you ever just explored unfamiliar roads?