A few weeks ago a team of 5 people from our Church attended the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in Dublin – a conference dealing with issues of Leadership in the Church and in the business world. I always get inspired and challenged by conferences like this, and I usally come back with a pile of new books. This year was no exception. Currently I am reading 4 books simultaniously and enjoying them all very much. I also always get a thrill out of discovering a new author whith whom I would resonate. This year I have discovered a new one: Andy Stanley. His book “The Principle of the Path” (2008, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tennesee) is a brilliant read and a well of insight and wisdom.
The basic idea of the book is the fact that all of life is connected. There are no random decisions that lead to random results – all of life is interconnected. Decisions that we make are like a path that we choose. They lead to a certain destination, they have certain consequences that are unavoidable. We reap what we sow.
This is very obvious when it comes to physical roads and paths. If I choose to get on the N11 and drive in the southern direction I will end up passing Wicklow, Arklow, Gorey and Wexford. Regardless of my IQ, my intentions, my motivations, my attitude and my mood – if I follow this road this is inevitable. This road will lead me to these destinations. If I don’t want to go there, I better choose another road. – Now what is so obvious in the physical realm does not seem to be as obvious in the realm of our day-to-day decisions and choices. But the principle of the path applies to all of life. Just an example: If I choose to lie to my boss or my spouse, I am choosing the path of dishonesty. This path has a certain destination. I may have good intentions and I may get away with it and not be found out this time. But lying and cheating will have certain predictable effects on my character that are inevitable. It is a path. If I stay on it, I will get to where it leads – I will become a dishonest person and people will not trust me. But if I choose to be sincere and honest in all situations, regardless the cost it may take, I choose the path of honesty. It leads to the destination of integrity and dependability.
So this is the question I’ve come to ask myself a lot these days: “What path are you on?”. It is a good question and it has led to a lot of reflection about the destination my life is headed towards. This question can take on different forms like: What path are you on in your marriage? What path are you on as a father? What path are you on as an employee, a friend, a son, a brother? Thinking through the destinations of the paths that we are taking can be very revealing and helpful if we are honest to ourselves. So I leave you with this question to ponder: “What path are you on?”