I’ve always been a strong believer in the idea that everyone has their own path, their own calling. This concept is constantly reinforced by the positive influences in my life… and constantly thrown into doubt when I’m feeling down. The idea of “my path” always seems to pull me this way and that, until I feel torn and frayed like an old piece of fabric.
Last week, I was attending my sister’s graduation ceremony at Emory University in Atlanta. The keynote speaker was civil rights icon Andrew Young, a close friend of Martin Luther King and mayor of Atlanta. Young spoke about his following his path and it absolutely brought me to tears. This is what he said:
Young spoke of the mystery of life, and how mystery outweighs burdens, challenges, and successes. We may never know what we are doing, and what the actual purpose of our struggles may be, until much later in our lives. Young then spoke about his time with Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement. He shared that, honestly, they had no idea what they were doing at the time. Someone decided to send a letter to the President about a potential march from Selma to Montgomery, and by chance the march went forward. Then, they ended up marching on the wrong day. But if they had marched on the planned day, things probably wouldn’t have happened the way they did. America may never have been changed for the better.
Andrew Young’s Story
Young told a story of running to the top of a mountain in North Carolina after graduating from Howard University. As he ran, he felt more and more helpless and afraid. What was he going to do with his life?… He felt so lost, without direction or purpose. When he reached the top of the mountain, he realized something.God would not have created man unless each human being had a purpose to their life… unless they were an integral part of the spiritual universe.
Andrew Young with Martin Luther King, Jr.
“When you run to the end of the world and you’re exhausted and you don’t know what else to do, relax and let go. Something Divine is liable to happen in your lives.”
We are foolish to believe that we can change the world by sheer will. But the world will change if we simply keep moving forward, even if moving forward means making mistakes. We don’t understand our inner power, and we shouldn’t even try. All we need to do is let go.
So, if you’re looking for guidance…
I hope these words of wisdom spoke to you as much as they spoke to me. My focus for the next stretch of time is to let go, and let God and the universe take me wherever they please.