I'm wrapping us this series on the 'breathing' disciplines of the Christian life and spent today studying Genesis 12, along with other passages that deal with the theme of the Christian life as a journey. This past week has reminded me that our lives, whether we like it or not, are a wild and unpredictable ride. Major Thomas' (see previous post) journey included the establishment of Bible Schools around the world, 92 years of life, and the privilege of seeing abundant fruit. My other friend who died last week in a tragic drowning accident was only 50. She spent her life caring for marginalized children, and was cut down in her prime. As the book of Hebrews reminds us, none of us knows what our own journey holds, or when it will end.
And as the book of Numbers reminds us, fear of change and the unknown may cause us to stagnate, choosing comfort, safety, and the illusory pursuit of 'security'. Bad things happen, so why risk... honesty, forgiveness, generosity, service, travel. I pray that we'll have courage to press on, to press through, and in the chaos and wild ride that is the Christian life, that we'll, all of us, be listening closely for the voice of the Shepherd, who alone can provide the wisdom, strength, comfort, and all other manner of bread for the journey.
It's 3AM - time to leave the comfort of the tent, and enter the biting wind, starry beauty, and frozen terrain in pursuit of the summit. Let's go...
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
Then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
Go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
And make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose Me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.from Rilke's Book of Hours