This post is one of those deep meaning-of-life posts. You may roll your eyes if you like, but perhaps you’ll find it edifying. Either which way, I find it refreshing — sort of like a confession — to publish posts like this now and then. This post is a reflection on three types of walks in my life journey.
The First Walk is where I like to think I am now. I get it, and “it” is big. Life is much, much bigger than I can fathom, the story I live and share is just a little bitty bit. The depth of love — love for God and love for others — doesn’t seem to end. I learn and grow every day when walking this walk. I don’t seem to ever arrive, but that appears to be the point.
Please don’t judge me as a know-it-all. You’d be missing my point. There is a humility in this walk that I wish I could sidestep, but there aren’t any shortcuts in this journey. I’m not going to “arrive.” I haven’t come close to figuring life out, but this walk is a journey, a story that is much bigger than me. I’m just a small part to a great universe that is going to go on forever far beyond me. That’s okay. That this life is bigger than me and goes on forever is actually, in a spiritual way, a growing hope that lives within me.
I’ve walked the opposite, and it’s brutal. I walked the Second Walk as a teenager, and I don’t reflect on this time fondly. I was bitter and angry, an atheist, ticked at the world. I didn’t particularly like anybody, especially those of the first breed. I clung to behaviors I knew full well were harmful to myself and others, but I didn’t care. My heart was cold. To hell with it all, and I was fine with a story that had no happy ending. A tragedy.
I sometimes return to this walk. I wish I could say I’m always happy, full of joy, a prissy love nut. But I tend to get depressed, angry, uncaring. I wander outside the Great Story of Life, hardened, nihilistic. I don’t know why I return to this cold state, but I do every now and then. I fail, I am ungrateful, I let down those whom I love. Though I revel in this walk at times, I never enjoy it.
You’d think that the Second Walk was the worst, but it actually is better than another walk I’ve walked, the Third Walk. This was when I thought I was on the narrow road, but I was actually headed in the wrong direction. If you judged me then as that know-it-all, you’d be right this time. I was religious, but had not God; I thought myself righteous, but had no real love for others. I was not hot nor cold: I was luke warm. Useless, arrogant, insane.
This walk is the most harmful to me and to others, and I grow more impatient with myself whenever I am tempted to return to this walk. It’s the walk of the religious Pharisee, a return to slavery. I have to catch myself from falling into this self-centered trap, for when I walk the Third Walk I actually think I’m walking the First. The pride that I must pet to keep to up to the walk’s legalistic standards is exhausting. I most regret the times of my life when I walked this walk. The luke-warm walk is fake, ultimately the most damaging to the life journey I am on.
Of these three walks, I try to stay within the first the best I can. I admire those who can walk their life journey without stumbling, always right with God and most compassionate toward others. They have a love within them that I find fascinating and attractive. I love to learn from these people, and when I’m in this like-minded state of journey, I’m in a most enjoyable state of mind. Friends and family enjoy me, and I enjoy them. It’s the walk of faith, hope and love, and I thank God that I’m right here now.
I guess this is why I posted a picture of my mom when I came up with today’s post. She reflects God’s love more than most anyone I have encountered in my life. She spent a week with us in November, and I cherished the time we had together, as did everyone in my family. You should subscribe to her blog.
I hope you find yourself in the First Walk, too. We really should be there throughout our lives.