I have been re-reading "The Gate of Heaven" recently and taking time to reflect on my own journey as I go, reading about Aphraar's experiences and then realising I have been going through similar lessons. While all of our experiences are different/unique in nature, it seems the same fundamental truths underpin our experiences. This was highlighted to me whilst reading part of the second chapter:
There have been times in the past where I have had a gut instinct deep down that parts of my life would HAVE to change and there would be certain decisions that I would HAVE to make if I am to continue growing towards God. This is not an infringement on my free will on God's part as some people may feel, but it is an automatic result of my own desire and aspiration to strengthen my relationship with God through receiving God's awesome love on occasions past and feeling the incredible benefits of such a gift, knowing that what God knows is love is always best and better than my own limited conception in a current place of imperfection.I came to the conclusion that I had taken the better course in following
the leading of that ray of illumination. It may have been - probably was -
that I failed to rise to all that was demanded of me on the occasion; that
I came short of doing all that the revelation was intended to accomplish.
Still, though I had not scored a victory, I could comfort myself with the
thought that I had not closed my eyes to the vision nor resisted the call
that had been made upon me. With this I had to be content. How blindly
had I been led onward since my arrival, and yet it was turning out all
right. My eyes had, to a very great extent, been holden, but I was
beginning to see that I had been the gainer by the guidance I had
submitted to. Was it not Solomon who said, “Man’s goings are of the
Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?
There have been many times where I have "fallen" and made mistakes in the past, will continue doing so going forward and not done things as "perfectly" as I would have ideally liked. But each time I have never regretted taking the initial step after learning some of the lessons contained within them - I reckon it is a necessary part in all of our individual progress and the way God would love for all of us live our lives. I have learnt that God grants us tons of room to make these mistakes and is constantly smiling down on us when we do inevitably make them, always ready to offer not just a helping hand, but two!
It does seem that in a way, I have been led "blindly" by my guide, other spirit friends, Jesus & Mary (through their guidance/feedback) and I will always be eternally thankful for every gift that these guys have given to me in the past and for anything they may gift in the future. I have taken steps not knowing where my destination would be, but just knowing that the step (whatever it may be) must be taken. I will be honest, every time another step is taken, it is daunting initially and automatically brings up a plethora of emotions within me that I never knew were even there, laying dormant in my heart up until that point in time. While this is simple to understand intellectually from "afar", it is completely different when actually "walking the walk" - walking that narrow path, being immersed in the real journey of life and that is where the real challenge lies.
What Aphraar speaks of is so true in my experience....reflecting back on my life since encountering Divine Truth (my arrival), looking at all the situations I have faced, the decisions I have made, and what I have learnt since....I can share with all my heart that THINGS HAVE TURNED OUT ALRIGHT, and subsequently have more trust that things will continue this way going forward. In fact, things have turned out BETTER than alright and better than I initially imagined they would have based on my prior conception of what would have been a good outcome to the various experiments I have undertaken. Although Aphraar doesn't mention this specifically in this quoted section, from reading the whole chapter it feels clear that he felt like this too.
I will finish by quoting a later part of the chapter, which led me to realise something in my heart that I had not been truly aware of previously:
GOD IS THE BEST!I could see
that, from the time that Helen discovered me lying in vague uncertainty
on the slopes, I had been - while outwardly engaged with Myhanene,
Cushna, or some other of their ministering companions - in some
mysterious and unrealized sense, communing with an invisible and
unknown stranger, as we trod another roadway leading from Jerusalem
to Emmaus, with occasional glimpses of His much-loved Galilee, as He
made my heart to burn within me.
How completely did He succeed in hiding himself under the semblance
of Helen, Arvez, Siamedes, Cushna, Myhanene, or Eilele, until the
moment for Him to reveal Himself arrived. My heart had been stirred to
its depths with the declaration of Helen, as she exclaimed: “Why, God is
love, Fred.” The throb of hope she caused by that inspiring utterance
never left me again, but each succeeding conductor or experience
fanned, fed, and encouraged it to increase, and yet I continued the
communion without suspecting who my real Instructor had been.