Photograph by Tracey Berry. Find more like this on Instagram: @traceaberry
When a man journeys toward his destiny, often he is obliged to change paths. At other times, the forces around him are too powerful and he is compelled to lay aside his courage and yield. All this is part of the apprenticeship. Paulo Coelho
“Sometimes pursuing your dream is like digging through a dark tunnel.” I told my husband last year. There were times when I thought I’d suffocate under the load of working full time, studying part time and you know, just living.
“You just have to be careful the whole thing doesn’t implode, to stop every now and then,” he advised as he drove me to the cafe for a break. It was a Sunday and like every other day I started with coffee and my journal but I left my uni books at home. Instead of legs and shoes, I looked up, I saw faces and took time to observe.
“Observe,” said da Vinci, “observe in the streets at twilight, when the day is cloudy, the loveliness and tenderness spread on the faces of men and women.”
The couple next to us at the long communal table were doing the crossword. They read the questions aloud. They puzzled over the missing word then asked my husband if he knew. Of course he knew. My husband has an incredible knowledge on almost absolutely everything! The word fit and we celebrated this achievement with our laughter. This was words with strangers not words with friends but it felt all warm and cozy in the shelter of the cafe as the wind blustered outside.
My husband was right. Taking time is a wonderful thing, even when it seems like there is too much at stake if we stop, even when we are afraid to take our eyes off the goal. It reminds me of Elijah and his promise to bless Elisha.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not.”
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. 2 Kings 2: 9 -12
While we are tunnelling in the dark with our head down there’s an overwhelming fear we might miss out. We wonder if we’ll make it to the table when they’re sharing out the cards to play. God reminds us that we can only do our part and the rest is up to Him. Sometimes we are compelled to lay aside our courage and to yield. The path we are on may not be the path we’d choose but He, in his wisdom, prepares us. It is all a part of the apprenticeship. The double portion is still to come.