10 August 2007

The Destination on the Hill

The path that goes to the left is very pleasant looking. Sure it has it's pitfalls and bumpy spots, but for the most part it is very appealing. It's flat and would be fairly easy to walk down. The problem is that the end of the path is foggy. I can't quite see where it goes. It could lead to somewhere amazing and wonderful, but it could also lead to somewhere that I don't want to be. And then what? I will have spent my entire life walking down a path to a destination I don't want to be at. At that point would it be too late to find somewhere else to go?

The path to the right looks difficult. There are a lot more pits and snares and ugly spots in it than the path to the left. It is long and winding. There are nice spots along the way, an oasis here and there. Those look really great. But the path in general looks tedious. It's all uphill too. But, since the path leads up a hill, I can see where it ends. It rises above the fog. The Destination on the Hill is truly amazing. I wish that destination was at the end of the path to the left, but I can see that there is only one road leading up to it and there are impassable cliffs all around. The path to the right is the only way to get there.

But it's so far. It looks so difficult. I know the path that I've been on up until now, and it has been difficult. I would love to have an easier path for a while. But the other thing I can see is that the paths becoming increasingly further apart as they progress. The rocks between them become steep as the path to the right rises in elevation. It would be fairly easy to scramble down from the path on the right to the path on the left at any time. But, it would become increasingly difficult to get from the left to the right due to the steepness and looseness of the terrain. Eventually it looks like it would be nearly impossible.

But what if the path to the left leads somewhere better than the destination I see on the right? What if the Destination in the Fog has a back door that takes me to an escalator and easy access to the far side of the Destination on the Hill? One that I can't see from here? What if? What if?

The map I have in my hands has a few details on it about the two paths in front of me. Not nearly as much detail as I would like, but enough to get me to the destination I choose. The one thing that it does not show is a connection between the Destination in the Fog to the Destination on the Hill. As far as I can tell there is no connection. Once the path to the left is chosen, the Destination in the Fog is what I will end up with. Nobody seems to know what that destination is like. I've asked around, I've read, I've researched, but there is little information. On the other hand, there are copious amounts of information about the Destination on the Hill.

So which to choose? The easier path with the unknown ending? Or, the difficult path with the known ending? The Destination in the Fog or the Destination on the Hill?

And I choose...

8 comments:

Danish Boy said...

You make so much sense. I had the imagery so vivid in my mind it was like I was there. but wait.. I am. haha! I thought I was a risk taker but the way you put it has made it so much more clear to me. Who needs to take the path into the fog? not me. I have already chosen. It really is that simple, very hard but very simple. :)

playasinmar said...

What are you waiting for? Kiss him, you fool!

Brady said...

Yes thank you for the imagery. I'm pretty sure that was inspired =). I'm with Danish Boy too, the path to the right makes so much more sense - even if it is harder. Seems like there's a lot less to learn and get out of life by taking the easy road.

Beck said...

The hard road, man! The hard road is the only road!

Lord, give me that mountain that I can climb!

Chedner said...

Are there truly just two paths? Or rather, does the path on the right have to be as difficult/painful as it seems to be?

J said...

I don't think the foggy path has an unknown ending. I think we all know where it ends. I too wish it didn't have to seem so hard. It helps for me to remember that there are a lot of nice little stops on the way, between the rocky parts, and the view is incredible!

GeckoMan said...

The world may sing, "The Fool on the Hill," but the view and big picture perspective wins out for me.

This reminds me of an experience I had in the Colorado Rockies. I was with a group that rode horses up the mountain to the high altitude tree-line. We witnessed a spectacular afternoon thunder and lightning storm at the bottom of the clouds, in the top of the mountains. We then hiked by foot up to the continental divide at the saddle of a mountain about a mile away, at an altitude of nearly 12,000 feet. I didn't realize how truly easy we had it on the horses until we started climbing the final ascent! I became so fatigued that I thought I'd pass out. But my friends had made it, and I wasn't about to give up, so I told myself, "just one foot in front of the other." It didn't matter if I went slow, I could take a step, breathe, then take another step. Eventually I made it, crawling on my hands and knees the last 50 feet.

When I got to the very top, and could then look down and over from my side of the mountain across the valley below to the next set of mountains beyond, there to my astonishment was a magnificent rainbow shimmering in the sunlight, generated by the rainstorm that had just passed over us an hour earlier. It was my sign from heaven, a personal message to me that even though my journey was arduous, and at times I thought I just couldn't do it, yet by perservering one foot in front of the other, I glimpsed the bright reward in the end. This life lesson is woven into the text of my poem, "Face Towards Zion."

Yes, I'll take the high road.

Forester said...

Both roads are difficult, in fact the one on the left may be more difficult than the one on the right. I just thought of a great combination...

"Two roads diverged in the woods and I, I took the one less traveled by and am all the better for it" - Walt Whitman, combined with "And I beheld a a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood. And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world." - Book of Nephi