"In ancient times...if you visited Machu Picchu on a pilgrimage, you had to take the Inca Trail...
'Why would the Incas make people take the long route?'
'Because the emperor knew, the more painful the journey to Machu Picchu, the more the traveler would appreciate the city, once he got there.'
...The pain made the city more beautiful. The story made us different characters than we would have been if we had skipped the story and showed up at the ending an easier way. It made me think about the hard lives so many people have had, the sacrifices they've endured, and how those people will see heaven differently from those of us who have had easier lives."
Donald Miller A Million Miles in 1000 Years.
What difficult and painful trails have we hiked (endured) in our lives?
I think about so many stories that have compiled to become my life...I fight certain stories, as if they are mistakes, as if the paths that I've encountered are the wrong ones, when, in actuality I wouldn't be the character I've become today had I not taken each of those "wrong" paths. How very much like a child am I. I enter into each new turn kicking and screaming, arguing that this path was not the path intended for me, not a part of the "master plan" for the story that is my life. I wonder how much life I've missed along the way as I've been fighting the pain of the hike...my focus was on the pain in my legs, on how steep the climb was, how whatever decision that led me to this particular trail must have been a mistake...how often must I have missed the view from the top because I had been so focused on the ground, on the trail that lie ahead.
"Two women looked through prison bars
One saw mud, the other saw stars" Linda Dillow Calm my Anxious Heart