Where All Roads Lead

Life can get so busy that often we feel like we are on a wide expressway with hundreds or thousands of others, all zipping and zooming in and out of lanes vying to be one step ahead and being irritated by those who mosey in the fast lane rather than moving over to their proper place. Eventually the expressway narrows a bit to a freeway littered with on and off ramps with some taking their exit and others joining the flow. If you are familiar with Michigan, then you will know that the freeway ends as you head north into the Upper Peninsula and if you choose to go west from there you will be relegated to a mere two-way highway with passing lanes every few miles where you can leap-frog slower moving traffic if you had been unlucky enough to get trapped behind them. You do have the option to pass in other areas, but that means moving into oncoming traffic which can be dangerous if you’re not careful. On these roads, twists and turns, hills and valleys abound and limit your view of the road ahead, especially if you are driving at night or in poor weather. Farther along the highway will turn into a county road that while paved, is typically not nearly as smooth and does not have passing lanes built-in. The shoulders narrow and you feel like you ought to move slower. As I would near my childhood home the county road would become a dirt road with summer-time washboard and well-worn gravel tossing up a cloud of dust in your wake. The dirt road would become little more than two-track driveway and the final destination is a single pathway leading to a door. I know this route well and have come to understand that all roads eventually lead to a door.

There is a flow of traffic that we all merge with when we begin our life. As we grow the flow can become swift and sassy as we try to keep pace with those around us or try to better them in some way or another. We bob and weave trying to gain an advantage so we will feel accepted and appreciated and loved. We feel irritated by those who may be in our way, blare our horns and muscle our way through. When just starting out we rarely realize that at some point we will need to choose an exit – no expressway or freeway goes on forever and you can only go so fast for so long.

The exit usually happens at a point of crisis or sudden realization that there may be something we are missing. We begin to notice towns and villages and far-off horizons and begin to feel a gentle tug to be a part of something and belong someplace so we choose an exit and move out of the flow, seeking something more…something satisfying. We may stop at a roadside park for a while and see the sights, visit here or there but the thirst we feel is not quenched and the hunger remains. As we get closer we feel a roughness in the road that forces us to slow down a bit and be more careful. Life can get rather messy as we move onto a dirt road, especially if it is raining but we move on ahead with a new expectancy that what we seek must be near because all roads lead somewhere and the pounding of our heart quickens. When the road does end we are left to travel on foot along a well-trodden but narrow path leading to a door…with a knocking sound coming from the other side.

What we do at this point is a choice that all of us will make, and we all make it alone. The path leading to the door is not wide enough for companions and the handle is only big enough for one hand to grasp. We all know this door well and many of us have been here before, standing at the door of our heart hearing a knocking from the other side. Every road we travel leads to this one door and this one moment…

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