In the ancient Roman Empire, they had a system of roads that allowed for rapid travel by individuals, small merchant caravans, and large armies. Because these roads were all linked together with Rome as the home base, it was said that ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ Overall, this was a good thing. Maybe not so good when the barbarian hoards began invading and using those roads.
Today, we have more roads than the Romans could possibly have imagined. Roads, roads, everywhere. Many of us have likely driven at least a half million miles in our lifetime (personally, I think I’m closer to a million). Many of us haven’t been to Rome, though (yes, I have, but that isn’t my point). All roads no longer lead to Rome. In fact, there is no centralized location that the roads of the world center on. If you start driving in the United States, you could end up almost anywhere. Well, anywhere except Rome. Unless you have a submersible car, like the one in commercials that goes into and out of the ocean (all the while, a warning runs across that commercial: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME). Sounds funny, but I’m sure someone has driven their car into the ocean and tried to sue the car makers for damages. All roads lead somewhere. That seems a nearly safe conclusion. But they don’t necessarily lead somewhere that you actually want to go.
Which leads to a final thought. It is often said that all roads lead to God. I don’t think so. While I’m willing to consider the possibility that there might be more than one road that leads to God, I’m pretty confident that a lot of roads don’t lead anywhere near him.
Alaska. Glaciers. Frozen rivers that actually move. Cold. I’ve read of people described as being ‘glacial.’ I’ve never actually met anyone that I would describe that way. Maybe that one person in high school. You know who you are. But I digress. Which is what I always do in these posts. I should change the name from Traveling Thoughts to Traveling Digressions. What was the point? Glaciers. In watching them with the naked eye (as opposed to the clothed eye), it is difficult to believe these massive ice rivers flow. But sit long enough and you see some ice calving and falling off as the river pushes forward. Many things in life are like these glaciers. They appear to be one thing until you sit and observe them (or meditate on them) for extended periods of time. Then you start to see the depth behind them, the slow movements, the complex processes. You have deeper insight into life. But it takes time. You can’t take short cuts with an ice cube.
Saguaro National Park. Famous cacti, if cacti can be described as famous. You can drive pretty much any kind of vehicle through this forest of Saguaros. It looks and feels like you are wandering in a great wilderness, that if you were to run out of gas no one would ever see you again. In reality, you could walk a few miles south, and you would be standing on a major highway, minutes away from the fast food restaurant or gas station of your choice. It is not unlike our personal lives, or our spiritual lives. It feels like we are alone, with no hope of escaping the barren wilderness we find ourselves in. But with a little bit of effort, we can put ourselves in a place where there is help to be found, refreshment and energy for the next steps of the journey. That’s what I often need. Refreshment and energy. I just need to go find it and not wait for it to come to me.