Monday, August 2, 2010

Stepping Off the Path of Least Resistance

My husband and I went backpacking last weekend, up into the high Sierra, to a little alpine lake that we love called Lake Sylvia. For us, it would be a pretty good hike even without the packs. With the packs, I can tell you that I was whining toward the end, and today my legs are as stiff as the pine trees I spent so much time admiring.

It occurred to me, as I was sitting up there at lake’s edge, watching the fish jumping and taunting my husband the fisherman, and allowing myself to gently come back to present time and listen to whatever God had to say to me that morning, how very worth the effort the trek was. It is a beautiful hike in, beyond description really. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many wildflowers, or butterflies, anywhere. But for as amazing as the hike is, when I started getting tired, I kind of stopped seeing it. My attention shifted to putting one foot in front of the other and just getting there.

I can think of quite a few examples in my life that are like that, when I stepped off the path of least resistance and took the hard road. I didn’t do it specifically because I wanted to take a hard road, because honestly I don’t. I chose the hard road in those instances because I knew I needed to, that’s all. It felt like the right thing to do. In truth, I couldn’t not have taken it.

Stepping off the path of least resistance has brought me the biggest gifts in my life. Deciding that I wanted something, and then sticking with it even though it kicked my rear-end, has given me the life experience that I’m most proud of, and that I’ll remember at the end of my life as what has defined the best in me.

Working my way through college is one example. Another is the direction I’ve taken on my spiritual path. The path I chose has at various times ended friendships, had my family doubting my decision-making ability, and nearly cost me my marriage. I questioned myself plenty during those times when it was hardest, when it felt like what I believed, and where I was headed, had to be wrong because I was out on a limb all by myself, and no one else could see the rightness of it.

I can look back now and validate the good that has come from working my way down the hard road, prompted by a voice that only I could hear. The rewards have always been worthy of the effort, and have become the gifts that I’ve been happiest passing on to others. My heart smiles in thinking about it, because I get to know the grace of heeding the quiet voice of God within me, and I am grateful.

May this tool be a blessing. . .


  1. Thank you for your post. It resonated loudly for me. I've only just discovered your blog but already I love it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I remember choosing to leave a community that I loved to move to a beautiful, rural home with my new husband and children from a previous marriage. The price was high, but the gifts innumerable. thank you!

  3. Thank you for this post! Sometimes I struggle with this concept. I wonder if i should be taking the path of least resistance, letting the current carry me so to speak or if I should actually exert a substantial effort to attain my goals? What I realize is that sometimes what appears as the path of "least resistance", actually creates the most internal resistance. That's when I know I'm avoiding doing something that can help me grow as an individual. At other times, I find it better to just sit and wait for the right moment, rather than plow through life like a bull in a China shop. lol.