19 March 2013

Paths and Choices

"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Each day arrives full of possibilities, presenting a clean and perfect slate. Yet each step we take, and each decision, shapes the ones which come after. Decisions and actions alike have consequences.

My choices in life, like most people's, have been both good and bad. Some people know from a young age what they want to do with their lives, and they pursue that desire with singular purpose. Such persons can become accomplished at a seemingly young age. Others do not know themselves, or only dream in vague pastels, and choose poorly.

In college, it is not uncommon for students to change their majors several times. Some find that the field they thought they wanted does not interest them. Others decided that something else interested them even more, although they had previously not suspected it. We've all heard actors speak of trying a role in college or community theater on a whim, or because they were attracted to someone who was in a play, and thereby discover - only by accident - that they had found a calling.

Whatever the day holds, wherever your feet may lead you, live the day. Don't just take it for granted: see all that it has to offer. Stop sometimes, and think about what choices you can make. See the possibilities. Consider them carefully, and act accordingly.

Life comes at us at warp speed, these days. Make a conscious choice to slow down, and be "in the moment." Listen to that bird singing. Watch the honeybee searching for another bit of pollen. See the clouds trailing by.

Notice the people around you. Each one is unique, and all have a story. Each face is a reflection of life's triumphs and tragedies. What does yours say to them?

Smile for no reason. Open the door for someone. Feel the sun (or rain, or wind) on your face. Tell your loved ones that you love them. Spend time with someone you care about. Be in the moment.

As a wise reader commented: if you take the wrong path, sometimes you must first forgive yourself for making a mistake ... and then take the right one. Make corrections, not excuses.

Home is behind,
the world ahead,
and there are many paths to tread
through shadow
to the edge of night,
until the stars are all alight.

Mist and shadow,
cloud and shade ...
all shall fade.
All shall fade.
Pippin's Song, The Return of the King
Choose wisely today, and you may sleep tonight satisfied that you made the best of it. You took those moments, throughout the day, and made them yours. It is the moments, rather than the headlong rush, that you'll remember.


Sandy said...

Beautiful post Rev. Paul.

We're in a fast paced moving world, in order to enjoy it while we can one must slow down and not take things for granted. God put us here on earth to enjoy our surroundings and help one another.

Rev. Paul said...

Sandy, you're exactly right on all points. Thank you.

PioneerPreppy said...


Rev. Paul said...

Thank you!