Tuesday, November 17, 2009


As anyone who lives in or around Fredericksburg, VA knows, there is a lot of road work happening right now. It seems everywhere you go there is a sign saying, left lane closed, or detour, or fines are higher in construction zones! It’s not just on one road either, but seems to be on every route you try. Like everyone else I have found myself becoming frustrated with the delays. Until a recent morning that is. One morning I was walking and saw a new detour sign on Washington Ave. and watched the cars being guided to the new route. That is when the words came to me loud and clear, have patience with the path as you drive it, have patience with the path as you walk it.

Have patience with the path. I smiled to myself as I walked. It was much easier to find that patience when I was taking my morning walk as opposed to when I’m running late getting my daughters to field hockey or gymnastics. I recognized it as an important moment though.

My own journey took an unexpected turn recently, one that I saw no warning signs for. I wish I had seen the detour coming like I do around town, but it came nonetheless. Paths will do that. While I know it is something I will move through, I also needed the reminder to have patience as I walk it. I can’t always see the twists and turns the path will take in advance and truly I know that is not really the goal. The goal is to walk it with grace, with patience, with love, with peace, no matter how many detours there are or how many lanes end. I needed that reminder.

I honestly think that if I could look down at the way from above, I would learn that really there were no road blocks. It was always straight. Optical illusions were created by my limited vision, or the shimmering waves from the heat of the moment. If I had walked with more patience for the path I might have noticed that with each step. The construction on the roads has given me an opportunity to catch my breath and look again. Maybe it isn’t a curve that I have come upon in my life. Maybe it is simply one more step on the path and all I need to see right now is that one step, because that is where the learning is. From my perspective that’s what the things that seem like detours are about, learning and growth. Each seeming obstacle is an opportunity to grow in my human life and in my spiritual life, and the lessons though they may feel challenging or even devastating, are worth learning, worth the patience, worth the effort. The merging I am focused on in my life is the human and Spirit and for that I must have patience with the path as I walk it.