We have often been asked what we would like to become when we grow up ever since we are little kids. What is your dream? What is your passion?
We have been told that you just need to dream big, reach for the stars, even though we may not be able to reach the stars, we are still able to achieve “something” near there.
But as we grow up and experience the reality of life, there are so many things that are not the way we thought it should be.
Life is not just about getting a good education, getting a job, getting a house, getting married and having kids. We soon realized that all the “getting” and “having” cannot satisfy the longings of our hearts.
Religion and beliefs also no longer seem to help at times when life gets tough, when sickness looms, deaths and tragedies strike to those dearest to us, the god that we grew up with may no longer be able to answer our prayers and questions about life and our purpose of existence.
Where do you go from there when our old maps no longer work?
Have the old maps always been wrong, I wonder?
Or is it that people just wanted to make sense of the mystery of life, and even though we tried our very best, we finally realized that we understand nothing at all?
Is it finally time to let go of our old beliefs and worldviews that we held onto so vigorously, only to realize that the grounds beneath our feet have shifted and a new world is at hand.
Old Maps No Longer Work
I keep pulling it out –
the old map of my inner path.
I squint closely at it,
trying to see some hidden road
that maybe I’ve missed,
but there’s nothing there now
except some well-traveled paths.
they have seen my footsteps often,
held my laughter, caught my tears.
I keep going over the old map
but now the roads lead nowhere,
a meaningless wilderness
where life is dull and futile.
“Toss away the old map,” she says
“you must be kidding!” I reply.
she looks at me with Sarah eyes
and repeats, “toss it away.
it’s of no use where you’re going.”
“I have to have a map!” I cry,
“even if it takes me nowhere.
I can’t be without direction.”
“but you are without direction,”
she says, “so why not let go, be free?”
So there I am – tossing away the old map,
sadly fearfully, putting it behind me.
“whatever will I do?” wails my security
“trust me” says my midlife soul.
No map, no specific directions,
no “this way ahead” or “take a left”.
how will I know where to go?
how will I find my way? no map!
but then my midlife soul whispers:
“there was a time before maps
when pilgrims traveled by the stars.”
It is time for the pilgrim in me
to travel in the dark,
to learn to read the stars
that shine in my soul.
I will walk deeper
into the dark of my night.
I will wait for the stars.
trust their guidance.
and let their light be enough for me.
~ Joyce Rupp