I heard the words “Can I help you” while I was looking at a map of tracks through the forest. I looked up and saw a man from the Forestry Commission approaching. He explained that the track I was wanting to take was not recommended for mountain bikes as it had a narrow rocky section. It was possible, he said, to carry the bike during that section but he did not recommend it. Then he explained about other tracks that were suitable for bikes.
“Oh I am quiet experienced at mountain biking” I replied and thanked him. I was still determined to take the path I had already decided on. It was not long after I had reached the rocky bit of the trail that I began to regret my decision not to follow guidance. I searched for the map to find out how long the rocky section lasted but I couldn’t find it – I had lost my map.
I carried on resting now and again from the uncomfortable job of carrying my bike. On one of the rests I thought “there is a message in all this”: Spirit gives us guidance when we need it. We may even choose to listen to it. But to follow it we need to let go of our own plans.
Sitting there in the forest I remembered that even though I had taken the wrong path I could always ask Spirit for help at any moment. Spirit was not going to say “Well, you didn’t follow my first instruction so why would I bother helping you now?” After asking for help there and then in the forest I felt reasonably comfortable about going on ahead and not turning back. Sometime after the path got wider, I was able to cycle again. Then I met a group of hikers and asked if I could look at their map. One of them said “Here, this map is for you”. So I gladly took the map and remembered that Spirit was indeed looking after me.
The words “Can I help you?” stayed in my mind for days after that adventure. What wonderful words to hear when you are unsure and need guidance. Following guidance and giving up on our own plan? Well, that’s when resistance can really kick in!