I picture the Divine as a mountain. There are many paths already worn up and around this mountain: major paths like Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism & Islam, as well as less-worn paths. Most of us choose a path whose entry point is near us – Christianity in the West or Hinduism in India, for example.
Those who say, “I will forge my own path,” rarely ascend beyond the foothills. It is a lofty goal to strive to be in the trail-blazing company of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad & others. The danger of ‘my own path’ is that it is very difficult to forge a new way. It is much more likely that we will miss out on most of the journey by giving up while still on the gentle slopes, after using up our energy hacking through thorns & brush. ‘My own path’ is usually a short track that leads only to a shallow spirituality.
How blessed are those saints who light the path for us, at least for a few steps! They illuminate, for a glimmering moment: granting us a vision of beauty, love, hope & joy, & giving us the strength to clamber on.