Excerpted from The Quest
The path is teeming with detours, as you probably have discovered. Sometimes in their search for the presence of God, people will venture down all sorts of blind alleys, dead ends, and circuitous roads. Everyone has a hunger for the experience of God, and we will pursue all kinds of paths in order to satisfy that longing in the soul.
We can get caught up in one fruitless trail after another if we are not careful. The detours can be very enticing. Some people become spiritual dilettantes, jumping from one philosophy to another, from one seminar to another, from one fad to another.
This can be intellectually stimulating, but it usually is the long way home.
There are systems based on stars or minerals or numbers or the shape of your hands. These paths may beckon you from your path. They are seductive and alluring, but no matter how fascinating or entertaining they are, to the degree that they detour you from the path, they are harmful. This is not to say that the practices themselves are harmful: that is for each of us to decide. But if we allow the position of the stars or the crystalline structure of certain minerals or the manipulation of cards or the creases on our palms to dictate our lives, we have turned from being God-centered to being star-centered or card-centered or whatever.
Astrology, channeling, tarot cards, palm reading, crystals, and other pursuits can be interesting, but if you are on a path that cannot lead directly to the Power within you, consider it a detour. It is true that sooner or later all paths will find their way back to God, but why waste time? If your path does not point to God within as the source of guidance and wisdom, it would be wise to consider an alternate route as soon as possible!
“Drawbacks” Fall Away
Obviously, you have remained faithful to your journey. The fact that you are reading these words right now means you have not succumbed to the lure of detours or, at least if you did, you quickly found your way back to the main trail again.
Hopefully by now you have come to realize that the path, your path, has been worth the seeming drawbacks. We know it is not always easy to stand firm in support of your beliefs and your way of life, especially when that stand isolates you from the masses. But eventually the drawbacks melt away, for people come to respect you for your convictions, and they begin to sit up and take notice of your loving, peace-filled manner. Eventually they start to wonder what it is you have, and how they can get some of it!
Finally, the marvelous advantages of staying on the path take precedence in your life, and each day dawns as a bright new opportunity for more joy or more peace or more of whatever aspect of God you may need.
While initially your journey may have seemed to set you apart from many of the people who had been part of your life, you now have begun to draw to you those who support your journey and who walk the same path as you. What an enriching experience this is. Now your life is blessed with people who share with you on the deepest level at which people can share: the spiritual. Life takes on more meaning and more beauty and more of everything good as you progress further and further on the path.
An Eternal Path
When you have journeyed as far as you have on the path, you develop an inner compass which keeps you on course. There is no turning back now, even if you wanted to, since the truths which you have learned are part of you forever.
For you, there is no other path than the one on which you walk. There may be times when your foot slips, and you temporarily stumble off the path, but it will not be long before you are right back on it again and moving steadily ahead. Once the journey is in your blood, it is there to stay.
Yes, our Trailblazer was right, the gate is narrow through which we enter. It requires dedication and commitment and a clear focus on what you want, which is the experience of the presence of God in your life. Yet having gone through the gate, you now know how glorious the path ahead of you is. It is the path you have chosen because you heard the summons quite some time ago.
Although the ranks thinned out quite early along the way, and it seemed a lonely place to walk, in time, great hordes of people will be venturing onto this same path, because it offers peace and love and deep contentment. Although the saying tells us "all roads lead to Rome," the truth is that, no matter what the twists and what the turns, all roads eventually lead to God.