All roads lead to Rome, the saying goes,
making it difficult, back then, to get lost, I suppose,
as long as you knew which side of the city you were on.
All paths lead to God, we are similarly told –
not just the broadly trampled swaths of traditional religions
but the narrow, individual windings through the rocky wilds.
There are as many paths to God,
the Sufis say, as there are the souls of men.
The Zen Buddhists put it more simply –
comparisons are odious.
To look down upon another’s path means only
that you have diverted your eyes from the Goal;
let another soul into your sacred relationship
with the Divine Companion;
assumed a height which you have not attained.
Perhaps, you are looking backwards,
judging your own path –
the bruising episodes, the cowardice,
the sins and betrayals from an authority
and perspective you do not possess;
not from the helplessness and hopelessness
you refuse to acknowledge.
O child of God, to reach the Goal, divest yourself
of everything you once thought you knew.