Last week I was out and about--doing some shopping, running some errands. One of the items on my to-do list was to visit my daughter-in-law and granddaughter, who live 60 miles from me.
There are many ways to get to their house. However, I was leaving a doctor's office, instead of from home, and the direct route included secondary roads. In fact, it included third- and fourth-degree roads, too.
Some of the route included roads that I was only vaguely familiar with. I soon came to a road that I was unsure of. So, I turned onto another road that I was unsure of. At least, I thought I was headed in the right direction.
I was becoming concerned. (I was NOT worrying.) I didn't want to waste time or gas if I could find a direct route to my family's house.
Usually, when I am in this kind of situation, I am, not only, bewildered, but I am low on gas, am running behind schedule, am out in the boondocks and need to go to the bathroom. Fortunately, this time I was only bewildered.
Then, lo and behold! I came to an intersection with a road sign indicating a town near where my loved ones live. It showed me which way to go and how many miles away it was.
I was on the right track, after all.
As I traveled, I began to muse about how much that road sign made my journey simpler and easier. I thought about the people who drove the roads, calculated the mileage and put up the signs to facilitate traffic--even in less-traveled areas.
T hen I began to speculate what traffic would be like if there were no road signs to point the way for people who were bewildered and no street signs to let them know they have arrived.
I could picture people in cars zig-zagging from one road to another, heads out of the side windows, passing other motorists multiple times, shouting directions to each other as they went. I imagine people lined up at residents' houses, asking for directions.
As I continued to drive (I still had 12 miles to go), I became thankful for the people who came before me, who charted a path for people whom they would never know.
My mind was on a roll now. I wondered what it would be like to have no directions in life. How would we know what path to follow? How would we know how to interact with other people? How would we be safe?
It turns out there are many places where we can turn to get help in navigating the highways and bi-ways of life's journey.
For instance, our parents can guide us into good citizenship. Since they have gone before us, they can point out the hazards and pitfalls and show us how to avoid them.
There is church and holy Scripture. Belief in a Higher Power can give us power of our own to seek a path that benefits ourselves and others.
And there are civil laws that tell us what we can do without infringing on the rights of others. More specifically, they tell us what we can't do.
Every club, agency and organization has rules, "for the good of the order." And employers have guidelines for what and how they want their employees to operate.
How confusing it would be to not have a goal in life and no plan for how to get there. We can be thankful for all of the people who have gone before us to show us our options.
However, nothing surpasses our own ability to look at all of the options and use our sense of reason to decide which path is best for us. Let's use it.
Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org