My run came to a slow jog, then a halt as I reach the bottom of a hill. I looked around and saw no signs of a path anywhere. I looked up and saw bits of blue sky peeking through the tops of trees that seemed to go on forever. I had taken so many turns that I was not sure which way would bring me back to the path, or further from it. I had gotten lost in the rhythm of my footsteps and breathing, lost in my run, that I didn’t realize when I had gone off the trails. I was lost, alone, and exhausted.
One afternoon, I was on the train heading home from work. A man walked onto my train car with his head hanging low. He wore a jacket that was all torn and frayed. His clothes were dirty and worn out. He looked like he was tired from carrying a heavy weight on his shoulders, just lost trying to find his way. He didn’t bother anyone, didn’t ask for money… just got on the train like anyone else heading home. I looked around at the faces of other people on the train. Nobody looked up at him or paid him any attention. Some people looked in another direction. Some people shook their heads. He was standing in the doorway right across from me…I suddenly caught myself looking down.
When I looked up I realized how easily anyone could be in his shoes. I imagined myself in his place, I imagined people that I worked with in his place. I could just as easily imagine him running a business, managing a team, dressed to the nines.
Everyone is on a journey down their own path. I think it is important to understand that anyone of us could have taken a wrong turn, and still may have some turns just ahead of us. This journey is exhausting, and when we finally slow down any one of us may find that we have lost sight of our path, without a way of knowing where we made a wrong turn or how to make it back.