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Saturday, October 07, 2006

The broken trail

When I take people into the wilderness I love to get the group into a cross country sitting. A place were there are no trials. A place full of options and opportunities. Some call this "breaking trail." Breaking trial can be a bad thing if it is done carelessly and minimum impact concerns are not adhered to. However, breaking a trial is a huge learning lesson for most. Having your path way laid out for you is good sometimes, but our lives are not like that at all. Finding one's path through life is often more like breaking trail and venturing out into the unknown.

I have yet to meet a person who has not experienced a break in their life's trail. More times then not we spend much of our lives trying to get back to "the trail." We try and restore ourselves to something society calls the norm. I have ignored those who traditional told me that I can not go somewhere or do something simply because no one else has done it. In fact, for me, that is where I tend to head. If no one has done it, then how the hell do we know we should not?

Another use of the term "broken trail" can, and has been used to describe the life path of someone who has been broken by life's endeavours. I find this use odd at best. Here is way I find it odd. Broken usually means out of the norm, or different than the norm. In reality we all have a broken past to some degree. So the norm should be brokenness! The "unbroken" trail should be the oddity in life. Why? Because there is no unbroken trails. We should quit acting like our trails are not broken. In fact I think that our life story about our brokenness is what others really relate to. Imperfection and the pursuit of restoration is really what our lives are about. Show me someone who says they are a saint and I will show you a liar.

I will take the broken trail. It is in this state that I know I need to pay attention to what ever guides me. I need to be aware of my surroundings. When I am on the well trodden path my mind turns off and I just plod along much like most of us in our daily lives. Take me to the less traveled places so I can know that I am still alive inside and struggling on the outside to find my way home.


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