Detours Only Slow You Down—Part 1

By Mary-Alice and Richard Jafolla

Excerpted from The Quest

Eyes wide, mouths open, the crowd stared up with anxious fascination. There was hardly a sound under the big top. High above the center ring was a high-wire walker, slowly and carefully making his way from one side of the arena to the other.

But his goal was not the platform at the far end of the wire-not at that moment. In that moment and in each succeeding moment, his goal was the precise spot where his eyes fell, that next point a few feet ahead of him on the wire. Pole held firmly in his hands, he stared, not at his feet, but at the wire stretched taut in front of him. Nothing distracted him, nothing could deter him. For the next several minutes, that was the path he would follow and, in this life-or-death struggle, he dared not let another thing take his attention.

Look Where You’re Looking

What is your path? What are you staring at? Where are your feet taking you? If it is not being true to the Christ in you, be prepared for a fall.

The goal is oneness with God, nothing more, nothing less. The idea is not to aim for healing or prosperity or better relationships or any of the other "things" (noble or deserved as they may be), since their seeming absence is merely a symptom of a deeper problem: a straying from the path. Rather, the goal is the experience of the presence of God in us and in our daily lives. "Tunnel-visioned" toward God, we might say.

Thinning Traffic

Staying on the path requires a strong commitment, and few are interested in making such a commitment. In fact, have you noticed how the further you journey on The Quest, the fewer people you encounter along the path?

Once you make the commitment to travel the path, you almost at once observe a thinning out of traveling companions. There is a direct ratio between the degree of your commitment and the number of people traveling in your direction. This is not surprising. The path you have chosen for your life is not, at this stage of collective human progress, a popular one.

At every phase of your journey, you have passed by side roads, into which many other people have turned off. Yet you, in your commitment to your quest for truth and transformation, have chosen to walk the straight path set before you, and that is what has made the difference.

There may seem to be drawbacks to your path. It can feel lonely, because few people understand your thinking and beliefs. They may even try to chide or ridicule you because you do not go along with the ways of the crowd. As Jesus said, the gate is narrow through which you must pass if you wish to enter into the kingdom of God, that kingdom of peace and love and joy which is only to be found within.

Read Part 2.


The Quest In every human heart there exists the hope of connecting with "something more." Tucked away deep within us, a part of us has always sought—yearned for—that connection.

The Quest opens the way for that connection. It presents eternal truths in a contemporary and very personal way. Whether you are just beginning your own individual quest or desire a deeper spiritual understanding, this guidebook and the accompanying activity book, Adventures on the Quest, will lead you with warmth and practicality through the pilgrimage of your soul.