Staying the Course


The path of salvation is rugged and narrow. It is fraught with potential dangers, unforeseen twists and turns, obstacles, valleys, and mountains. Traveling alone is purposefully too treacherous. And yet, no alternative road leads to wholeness, inner stability, and eternal life.


How often have I stared down that path only to break down in tears, overwhelmed by the seeming impossibility of navigating all that lies ahead? My thoughts run wild, imagining cruel and hungry beasts lying in wait around the corner, and I’m paralyzed in place. Why, God? Why does it have to be so hard? 


Ahhh, but there it is, a cry for help, an honest prayer! Recognition of my weaknesses and limitations. Do you want to be healed? Christ asks. And of course I do, with all my heart. Then follow me, He says. Trust me. Trust this journey.  


Over and over, this dialogue repeats itself: me, too frightened to proceed, and Christ gently inviting me to get back up and try again. On the days I take a leap of faith and seek first the Kingdom of God, laying aside all distractions and quieting my mind and heart, I glean snippets of understanding.


I can see how, by emptying myself of my own will, allowing Christ to guide and uphold me, I have the stamina and courage to take the next step in front of me. I can recognize how each inch forward builds strength and patience, each weathered storm increases my faith, and each stumble reveals new invaluable insights. 


By letting go of control and traveling as lightly as possible (releasing pride, expectations, and anxieties about the future), the path that once seemed ominous begins to feel hopeful, leading to beautiful new sights and adventures. Simple joys come into focus. Divine discernment whispers gently in the breeze. A sense of purpose emerges from the shadows. Miraculously, I feel a tiny spark gratitude for the very struggle I had begged to be delivered from.


This light-filled perspective, liberating and transcendent, must be nurtured, watered, fed, protected, and prioritized above everything else, lest it be snuffed out by darkness and negativity. 


Staying the course is a full-time, lifetime, endeavor. 


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