"I think it is easy to imagine there are easier paths," she said, realizing something for the first time. "But maybe there are no easy paths. There are just paths."~ From The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
She had regrets. The narrator in the book, The Midnight Library. Her life seemed too small. In her opinion, she'd made too many wrong turns. She was talented, and had multiple opportunities to be more successful. She questioned her choices. She'd disappointed people with her decisions. Then she lands in a mystical place, The Midnight Library, where there are opportunities to see what may have happened in her life if she'd taken different pathways. In the end...well, I'll encourage you to read the book to see what happens.
There I sat in my reading chair after finishing the book contemplating my own life. The different choices I could have made along my path. My reading corner is magical to me--that contemplative area I've carved out for myself, even amidst the moving boxes, where I light a fragrant candle, listen to Pandora and read and think and pray and write. I thought about my life as I held my cup of hazelnut coffee against my chest. I could feel its warmth permeate my sweater, metaphorically warming my heart. I could say that even though my life is imperfect and I don't know where this bend on the path takes me, my weaknesses often surface and I feel uncertain at times, I have no regrets. This pathway is mine. It is not easy, but it belongs to me, and that in itself is wonderfully good.
And you? What are you thinking about your life? During this time in history and living inside the peril of a Pandemic, gives us pause to think about our pathways.
As we move into a very different holiday season, I crafted a prayer (taken from Psalms 1-15 in The Passion Translation) for you (and me)...
May you rest in the hope that God enables you to bear fruit in every season of your life, that you are never dry, never fainting, that He embraces your path as you move forward. May you know in the depths of your heart that God is your Shield, the God who lifts you up when you are weary or bowed low in shame.--that He sends a Father's help.
May you be comforted that when you are in distress, squeezed by life, that you can expect His kindness, His grace. Assured that He works wonders. That you can lie down in peace and sleep.
May you be encouraged that He smooths out the road in front of you, straight and level so that you know where to walk.
May you experience His wrap-around presence, knowing He is your protector and defense. And when you feel oppressed, may you realize that He never neglects you, but rather is the perfect hiding place.