I was walking along a path, deep in the woods. It was narrow, but defined, made not by man, but by the gentle hooves of deer as they made their way in the thicket. Wild blueberries and large, green ferns blanketed the earth while majestic trees, centuries old, canopied the sky.
My companion and I could not walk next to each other, for the path was too narrow. He walked close behind me as we made our way over thick roots and the curves and dips of the earth.
As we walked along, my mind began to wonder with the worry and challenges in my life. They came to me, or I would come upon them and they would distract me from the moment. They were like boulders, weighing heavily on my mind and heart. I would get distracted, irritated and discouraged. I thought I needed to carry them, take care of them, fix them, own them. They weighed me down, darkened the path and made me weep. And then, one day, I turned and passed the boulders to my companion. As He touched them the boulders would crumble into bits of rock and dust, and the weightiness would no longer exist.
Allowing us to keep going on our way.
The burden was not the purpose of the path. The burden was not mine to carry.
Every now and then, He would rest his hand on my shoulder and whisper a Word in my ear, telling me to notice, listen, look up, be.
Never, do, should, ought or need.
I would lean in, so I could hear his word and pay attention.
It was easy to get off the path, to find oneself in the middle of nowhere, or stuck in the mud, or lost along the way, or weighed down again by heavy boulders.
I realized I had to watch where I was going, stay focused on the path in front of me and not get too concerned with what was coming up ahead.
There was enough beauty to take in and pay attention to in the path that was before us.
We walked on, Jesus and I.
And as we walked through sun beams and cob webs, around tree stumps and snake holes, we breathed in Peace.
And then I knew, the path was Joy.