In Merton’s Palace of Nowhere, James Finley poses a most illuminating metaphor for explaining our search for a path along a spiritual journey. Although he is specifically describing the search for the true self, it aptly applies for the spiritual journey in general.
Imagine yourself standing in front of a large, freshly snow-covered field where no one has walked on. Now ask yourself, “Where is the path?”
The answer is to walk across it and there will be a path. One cannot find out first how to realize the true self [or spiritual journey] and then set out to reach the clearly visualized goal. Rather, one must walk on in faith and as one goes on, the goal appears—not before, nor within, nor beyond us, but it does appear…and it appears to no-one. It appears no-where. It appears not in revelation of a fact but a transformation of our hearts, in which, without knowing how, God transforms us into himself and we begin to realize obscurely yet deeply that our lives are hidden with Christ in God.