I started down the boulevard,
Freshly paved, smooth and gleaming,
Its lanes clearly marked and a gentle rise
Toward a glorious horizon.
New construction sites caught my eye;
Here was progress– here was the future!
I drove on, excited in my new course,
Dreaming of destiny and fulfillment.
Gradually, the scenery changed.
Construction gave way to abandoned projects:
Half-finished high-rises, silent storefronts,
Driveways leading nowhere, weedy parking lots.
Now the road, so smooth at the beginning,
Twisted and turned without purpose.
Gravel and broken pavement lined with
Abandoned cars and broken glass.
Frightening thoughts intruded–
I had seen no open stores, no gas stations,
No houses, or other cars for miles. I was alone.
There were no crossroads; no places to turn around.
The road that had begun with so much promise
Was now a rutted path going nowhere.
I woke up in a cold sweat– it had been a dream.
More– it had been a warning.
I had “good intentions” for my journey.
But the easy road, the appearance of future success
Had lured me away from the path marked with suffering
And paved with ancient truths.
I had packed no maps, ignored the GPS, and trusted to “instinct”
To lead me, not to a fixed destination, but to “discovery.”
I drifted back to sleep, and dreamed that I was back at the beginning.
Roads branched out all around me.
The gleaming new boulevard no longer held any appeal.
But now I studied the other roads.
There were so many; roads leading to “enlightenment”;
Roads offering “fame” and “immortality”;
Narrow paths promising “mysticism”;
Superhighways advertising “happiness.”
Off to the right, there was a tiny filling station–
The old fashioned kind, with a service man.
He offered to fill my tank, but then he said,
“They all end up in the same place, you know.”
I looked up into his eyes–eyes that held in them
The wisdom of the ages and boundless love.
“Enter in at the narrow gate…”
“I am the way, the truth, and the life…”
“This is the way, walk ye in it…”
He turned and walked through the back door
And I followed him down a sunlit path,
Up a small rise, and into glory.