By Rabbi Mordechai Levin
Published by the Omaha World Herald – June 15, 2013
A man had been wandering in the forest for several days, not knowing the way out. When he suddenly saw another man walking toward him, he was filled with joy.
“Now I shall find my way out,” he said to himself. When they met, he said, “I’ve lost my way and have been wandering in this forest for several days. Can you help me?” The other man replied, “I, too, am lost and have also been wandering here for several days. Do not take the path I’ve been on, for that will lead you astray. Let us look for a new way out together.”
Just as this story illustrates, we sometimes lose our way in the forest of life. We are not sure which path to take. In situations like this, talking to a family member, a trusted friend, a clergy member or counselor may offer help. A compassionate listener with a caring attitude can clarify our doubts and goals and give us renewed hope.
Prayer and meditation can also be valuable tools. In one of his many beautiful essays about prayer, Rabbi Abraham Heschel wrote, “Prayer is like a beam thrown from a flashlight before us into the darkness.” When we feel we are lost — like in a moment of darkness — prayer may offer guidance and light. As we join together in prayer, we might gain insight and vision to find our way as part of a community of faith.
In such moments, may our own insights and inner strengths, the support of our family or friends, and the help of God, light up our way to a brighter future.