Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life is like...walking though a forest

Viewing the forest from a distance, we identify a solid design of earth-tone hues that lacks a clear path to the other side. We are intrigued by the forest and by what may exist following a journey through the woods. Our curiosity prompts a decision to be made. We have the choice to see the forest as a barrier and bypass the option to attempt a venture to the other side. Or, we have the choice to approach the woods and attempt to locate a path that leads us to the other side.

By seeing the forest as a barrier, we become overridden with fear and doubt, believing that the effort to walk through the woods will not be worth fulfilling the wonder of what may exist in the land beyond. This mindset prohibits us from satisfying our desire to see what follows the forest because we lack the ability to confidently face challenges, prompting us to consequently suffer the ongoing burden of wonder.

Though choosing not to approach the woods, we remain fascinated about what may be in the woods and on the other side so we continue to think “what if I would have attempted to go through?” “Would things be different if made it through or if I at least tried to make it through?” This burden of wonder frequently outweighs the burden of confronting challenges as they arise, prolonging undue discomfort in our lives. This undue discomfort can be avoided by choosing to attempt the journey to the other side. Upon making this choice to confront a challenge that, from a distance, may appear impossible to overcome, we begin walking toward the forest.

As we approach the forest, we begin to see small gaps between the trees. As we move closer yet, the gaps become wider. We see areas that allow access into what was earlier perceived as an impossible barrier to penetrate. We step into the forest and realize that we can take a few more steps and as we take those steps we realize that we can take a few more. Although we are unable to see other side, we become enlightened by the realization that we can still move forward.

Through this venture, we will encounter wildlife, low hanging branches, thorns, holes, and many other small obstacles, but we quickly learn that we can easily adapt to these obstructions by slightly modifying our path, and we can still move forward. Because of our size, strength, flexibility, and other physical variances, each of our paths through the forest will be unique to our individual selves. For example, some of us may be small enough to squeeze through tight spaces, others may have enough strength to move large branches, and others yet may have the flexibility to stretch across wide holes. This highlights the reality that we are all built differently so each one of us must inevitably take a different path to reach the other side.

By attempting to follow another person’s exact path, we will encounter barriers that we are unable to overcome because, whether it’s slightly or significantly, our individual design varies from that of another. As we continue to progress, we eventually see wider paths that ultimately lead to the other side of the forest. We soon can take our last step out of the woods and reap the rewards for confidently facing the challenge of walking through.

The present discomfort of stepping into the unknown yields us future pleasure by making it through. We are rewarded with the elimination of the burden of wonder, the enhancement of our physical, mental, and spiritual strength, and the appreciation of that which awaited us on the other side.

We encounter many figurative forests throughout life. We are intrigued by some, but not by others. These forests can include new jobs, habitats, relationships, educational agendas, and countless other new opportunities that enter our lives. When we meet those opportunities that intrigue us, we face the decision to either walk through and endure the immediate struggle or walk away and suffer the endless burden of wonder. To enhance ourselves and realize contented living, we must walk through these forests

Our passion may very well represent the most appealing forest in our sight, but many of us fear the unknown obstacles that we will face during the journey. Therefore, we choose to walk through forests that don’t appeal quite as much because we see other people walking through them. We must allow ourselves to walk toward the forest that aligns with our passion. As we move closer, we will realize that a path to enter the most beautiful forest exists, and with continued effort, we will make it through and reap the enhanced rewards of choosing to follow our passion, of choosing to journey through the woods that appeal to us the most.


yolanda said...

lovely blog. thank you for sharing your thoughts, i enjoyed the forest metaphor. my blog features similar musings. do stop in if you get the chnace :-)



Nathan Anderson said...

Thank you, Yolanda. I will certainly take some time to visit your blog!