In our professional lives and in our personal lives, we need to know four things:
where we’ve been
where we are
where we are going and
how we are going to get there.
If a man knows those four things, his chances of making a positive impact on the world are greatly increased.
There are times, however when we lose our way and feel lost. Feeling lost is not unusual and we all experience it at different times of our lives. It does not have to be a bad thing, and though we may feel lost, we may not really be lost.
In a passage in his The Fellowship of the Ring, John Ronald Reuel [J.R.R.] Tolkien writes in Chapter 10 [and once more in the LoR Trilogy]
“All that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost,
the old that are strong do not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
a light from the shadows shall spring,
renewed shall be blade that is broken,
the crownless again shall be king.”
Keep that in mind … not all those who wander are lost.
Trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote in his journal Entering the Silence
“Good Shepherd, You have a wild and crazy sheep in love with thorns and brambles. But please don’t get tired of looking for me! I know You won’t. For You have found me. All I have to do is stay found.”
A man who searches for truth will always be found. Stay found.
In his beautiful song to Jonathan Livingston Seagull entitled “BE,” Neil Diamond implores us to continue our search for truth. He tells us that being lost along the way can and will lead to better things
On a painted sky
Where the clouds are hung
For the poet’s eye
You may find him
If you may find him.”
On a distant shore
By the wings of dreams
Through an open door
You may know him
If you may”
As a page that aches for a word
Which speaks of a theme that is timeless
And the one God will make for your day.”
As a song in search of a voice that is silent
And the sun
God will make for your way.”
Last week, I read a poem by the State of Washington’s poet laureate, Samuel Green in his collection The Grace of Necessity. titled simply “Oct. 18 New York City,” the poem reads
On the subway an old
Polish man takes me in charge,
rides two stops past his own
to make certain I find
the right place to get off. When I try
to thank him, he shakes his head
no, forget it. No one he says, should be lost when someone else knows the way.”
Perhaps the final sentence in Mr. Green’s poem is the ultimate truth: no one should be lost when someone else knows the way! When I feel lost, there are people who show me the way. It is incumbent upon me, then to help others who need direction in their lives if my experience suggests I know the way.
As we search for Kalos Kagathos, be ever mindful of the fourth sacred Zia obligation: a devotion to the welfare of others.
“No one, he says, should be lost
when someone else knows the way!”