It is a lonely and desolate road. Some realize this early on. We call them prophets and poets. Some deny the desolation. They fill the emptiness with liquor and late nights. There are a thousand shades of gray between the two extremes. Those that have gone before us have made the call clear—to take the wide road or the road less travelled.
The narrow and real road is a difficult road. In strange juxtaposition it is the path where the soul is most fed and character deeply developed. It is a hard road so we choose friends and teachers wisely. Our neighbor Mr. Milquetoast isn’t the ideal companion for this trip. Our lovers and friends will be those that see the reality. They know the barrenness of the road and so choose to walk hand in hand with us on it. Sages and writers we read along the way have had their own ‘dark night of the soul.’ It is these sacred bonds that give us the strength to push forward.
We call out, we beseech those on the wide road to open their eyes and turn aside. Some like Francis of Assisi will burn their old lives and set out on the narrow stone road. More, many more, will get a glimpse of the hard road. Given a choice between buffeting body or being sated with self they will choose the latter.
The road is narrow and few are those that travel it. So we cry with our friends and encourage one another. We speak to one another in spiritual songs that recognize the reality and the reward to come. The going is difficult and we trip and fall on rocks and slip on smooth stone. We dare not walk such paths alone. Let us encourage one another. Let the words we read, the voices we hear, and the hands that hold be of those who have felt the agony of the road and the satisfaction of the soul.