First Step

“The heroic first step of the journey is out of, or over the edge of, your boundaries, and it often must be taken before you know that you will be supported. The hero’s journey has been compared to a birth; it starts out warm and snug in a safe place; then comes a signal, growing more insistent, that it is time to leave. To stay beyond your time is to putrefy. Without the blood and searing and pain, there is no new life.” —Diane Osbon in A Joseph Campbell Companion (N. Y.: HarperCollins, 1995).

fork in the road

fork in the road

People sometimes come for spiritual direction as they are taking that first step to becoming the person God created them to be. It is a fork in the road and always they are on a road less traveled. Sometimes the path is so undeveloped or uncared for that it is overgrown. In fact, a recognizable path can be seen only by someone who has traveled that way before. This is why we look for and need spiritual friends along the way.

Sometimes it may be necessary for someone to hold our hand just to get us started. Other times we see the way clearly after just minimum help. Sometimes we need a companion for a greater distance, until we become familiar with the path and adjusted to its twists and turns. The journey, and certainly the first step, is a birth offering a multitude of opportunities for rebirth. We can always count on labor pains and a messy experience before we hear our new voice. Friends and family may have difficulty accepting our change, our new birth, the different path we are now on.

Treasuring the journey instead of focusing on a goal can always keep us from wandering off the path.