Most of us carry an inbuilt compass which lets us know where we are. It may only work in a small area, but there is at least one place in our lives where we cannot get lost. For me, and many others I suspect, the Redwoods is not one of those places! As I look out on the forest hills, wind-blown trees guarding the river, and small farm fields, I have no idea of I am gazing north, south, east, or west.
The result is fairly basic. As open as the trails are, for me they are in general closed. I cannot enter into a place where I will be instantly lost! As accessible as the forest appears on the surface, it is full of the uncertainty and danger. What should one do if one finds a cougar in one’s path? What is the right response to a snake basking in your step? How does one orientate when there is no visible sign giving directions?
Perhaps the answer is found in an old story where two were trying to get somewhere. As we join the story one finds “Simon Peter and another disciple [had] followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the Chief Priest, and so he went in with Jesus to the Chief Priest's courtyard. Peter had to stay outside. Then the other disciple went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in.” (John 18.15, 16)
The answer here is a guide. There are those who know and understand the Redwoods. Their guidance is priceless and potentially lifesaving. At the very least their words can give us a gateway into an experience filled with opportunity and new experiences.
You and I face far more choices than we realize every day. It is difficult to understand where these paths can and will lead us. Being open to the words of a guide is a great step to getting the most out of what life offers. God offers each a Spirit to be such a guide. Open your heart. Listen to what Divinity is saying.
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