Saturday, May 31, 2014

While I'm Waiting

Yes, I did get lost in the woods.

The woods in the park behind my house that I have lived in for 22 years. I didn't realize they were that big.

I suppose exploring streams and getting lost in the woods is a childhood activity, but I was never a very brave child, so I must make up for it now. You're never too old to learn a new lesson. Or two.

I was just out for a walk in the park, a very typical activity. But as I walked past one of the many paths that led into the woods, I decided today was a good day to go exploring. Now don't get me wrong; I've been down these paths before. They lead down to a little stream behind some houses, and then you must turn around and come back. But on the way back, I didn't follow the same path.

I thought the path, which was much bigger and wider than the one I had first followed, would lead out to the entrance where I came into the park, and then it would be a short hop home. But it didn't. It led deeper and deeper into the woods. Woods that I did not realize were that deep.

Now if I'm making this sound dramatic, it really wasn't. Aside from a few spider webs, some scratches, and getting stuck in the mud, there was really nothing to worry about. You see, I just found this very promising looking path that led to a creek. I imagined it was the creek that came out near the entrance, so I jumped down in and followed the creek out. I had to climb over a few trees and under a few branches, practically crawling at one point, but it was worth it I knew, because my destination was just on the other side of that tree. Or that one. Or...that's the end of the creek...

Not to worry, I'll just climb out the other side, climb up the hill, and it should come out at the entrance. No...that's a big blue barn. Why is there a big blue barn? Where is there a big blue barn?

At this point one has no choice but to turn around and follow the path back out. Because you see, some paths lead you somewhere pretty neat on their roundabout way back home. Some paths teach you something along the way. Some paths are so pretty and peaceful that they make you stop for a minute to thank God for his creation. Some paths are so destroyed that you'll have to make a new one, or find a different one. And some paths...some paths look so very promising, but they just don't lead where you thought they would. And if you find yourself on such a path, there's nothing else for it but to turn around and follow it back up the hill.

Life doesn't always go where we thought it would, and sometimes we do just have to backtrack a little. Because no matter what path we are on, and what we are looking for along the way, the ultimate goal is always to get home. Home where the mud gets washed off. Home where the bee sting can be covered. Home where the food will replenish us to go out and explore again. Home is what we are always looking for. And maybe we are never quite fully satisfied here on earth because, no matter how nice the hotel is, there's no place quite like home.

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