It doesn’t seem to make much sense. After all, how can we leave breadcrumbs where we haven’t yet been? Isn’t the trail of breadcrumbs supposed to be for our return trip?
But how often do we come back to the exact same spot, using the exact same path?
On the other hand, how often do we circle, meander, intersect, repeat, backtrack, and so on?
We rarely experience something just once. We might claim something is “once-in-a-lifetime” and, honestly, we can’t ever completely duplicate the experience, because we can’t repeat the same time and moment. Yet there are themes. We relearn similar lessons. Our lives are filled with patterns, many of which we might not even notice.
What we do in one experience impacts future experiences. When we’re intentional, we lay breadcrumbs for the future.
When I read something in Scripture at different points of my life, even different times in a day, I absorb it differently. It challenges me in a variety of ways. What I skim over in one reading, leaps off the page in another. The same words can encourage, convict, challenge, equip, excite, or confuse me. The best I can do is process them the best I can in that moment, plant the seed, and trust God to do the growing.
I don’t rediscover every breadcrumb I drop along the path. Sometimes, I’m just too preoccupied to notice the patterns. Other times, I find great joy in rediscovering something familiar.
I don’t want to miss out. I want to learn and relearn, discover and rediscover. But I can only do that with intention and attention…and a good supply of breadcrumbs.