Imagine, if you will.
You are on an unavoidable and unending journey.
When your journey began, you stumbled, you fell regularly. You had no map, and the only guidance you were given was from fellow travelers that had taken different roads and by chance, had arrived at your location at the same time that you had.
These fellow travelers were full of stories and warnings. Tales of precarious paths, dangerous creatures, and villainous foes. As you began to travel with them, you learned much of how to survive the rigors and dangers of a journey.
After years of traveling with your companion guides, it occurred to you, that you had never asked where your little caravan was headed. The conversations had been fun, you had learned much from them. You had also learned quite a few things just by traveling and experiencing the road yourself.
So curiosity finally got the best of you, and you asked your companions where the destination of this trip was to be. The answers shocked and confused you! For though they they had given you much advice, and many admonitions of what to avoid, and what to pursue, each of your travel companions had a different destination! As you listened to the places your fellow travelers intended to arrive at, you were dismayed that most of these destinations did not offer what you were seeking in your heart.
So the days passed, and you began to think more and more on what your own destination would be. In fact, the destination became the entire reason you continued on the journey. Your imagination was reeling with the possibilities of where you could go. With all of the places you had passed thus far, and all of the things you had experienced in your travels, you had a vision of the places you didn't want to be, but still, because there was no map available, the path was not clear.
Now years had passed, and many of your fellows had turned off onto one of the many side roads that intersected the path you had been traveling. One day, your last companion / guide said his time had come to depart down the path he believed led to his destination. Dismayed and fearful, you asked where he was heading to. His answer was vague, but he believed this path was the one that would lead him to his chosen destination. You asked if you should follow him, but his reply was that it would have to be your choice, because each path has it's own unknown dangers and rewards, and that since he had no map or guidebook, he could not be responsible for your well being.
You said your goodbyes and wished each other well. He headed down his chosen path, and you continued on the road you had traveled for all these years. This road had served you well, and you were familiar with most of the dangers and knew where to find the things that sustained you. Still, you knew that the day would come that you would have to find a path that you believed would take you to your own destination. If only there was a map or another traveller that had been to the place you were seeking, your fears could be calmed.
Years passed, and your travels continued. You met a few people on the road, but most were too busy to help, and they turned down the side paths too quickly to get much information from. You were lonely, and still had no real sense of which path you should make the turn on.
So you sat. By the man on the side of the road.
You exchanged pleasantries, and asked him who he was. He said he had been called many things, but in essence he was a Sherpa! Never having heard this word before, you ask him to explain it to you.
With a smile on his face, he explains that a Sherpa is a guide, one who has been down all the paths and to all the destinations that exist!
His destination was your destination.
All you had to do was ask the Sherpa, and he would guide you down the correct path, he even had a guidebook, one that showed the dangers on all the paths that you could ever cross. What luck!! After all these years of lonely travel, finally someone who knew the way!
So you asked the Sherpa, and he gladly arose from his spot beneath the tree and began to walk with you. You walked together for many, many miles and talked of many things. You talked of your desires and what you believed regarding your destination. It was good to have a knowledgeable companion to travel with again. You learned much.
One day, the Sherpa stopped. He pointed to the most ragged, narrow path you had ever seen. Though you could not see far down this path, what you could see looked very inhospitable, and dangerous, it appeared that nothing good could come from taking this path. The path was dark and you were scared of what might lurk in the shadows. you had heard stories about paths like this! Stories of destruction and utter despair.
"My friend" says the Sherpa. "How many miles have we travelled together, have I ever led you astray? Have I not shown you The Guidebook of which you had only dreamed that existed? Did you not request me to accompany you on your Journey?"
"Sir, all these things are as you say, but this path does not make sense to me!"
"It is your choice My friend, I have done all that you have requested. You have told me your desires, and this is the path that will lead to your ultimate fulfillment. I cannot force you to take this path. Of your own free will you requested that I guide you, of your own free will you can ignore my guidance."
And so your journey continues. With the Sherpa by your side.
To follow the Sherpa is a question we must all ask.
The answer is ours to decide.