Sunday, 14 May 2017

Wayfarers or Car drivers?

Have you been on an extended walk anywhere?  On one of the many walking trails found throughout the World, the Cape to Cape perhaps or the Tsitsikama trail or even something a little tamer like the Big Hole track in the Barrington Tops.  All of these trails take meticulous planning and attention to detail.  They all may have their attractions and their difficulties but all of them are well posted and mapped.  They are well trodden trails that a little bit of foresight and planning will keep us on the go and reach our goal.  A little bit of excitement and plenty of beauty.  Just what we want as we walk through life.  For many of us this is what our lives are like, mapped out with little need to do anything just plod along.  Even our Christian and faith lives are much like this, all we have to do is stick to the track and we will be alright, God will meet us at the end.  We are after all known as Christians to be the people of the way, at least earlier in our history.  That is because we followed the Christ as Christ is "the way, the truth and the life" (Jn 14.6).

It was a somewhat bumpy way when we were called that, it was actually quite exploratory, not like the well worn road and tarmac drive that we are accustomed to today.  Indeed, because we have paved and tarred the road for an easier passage, we have actually lost the truth and the life.  We are now on a freeway to nowhere pursuing our own dreams and our own needs without caring too much about the truth.  My daughter came home the other day from doing half the Cape to Cape walk as part of her year 12 syllabus.  Asking her about it she said it was hard but with a big smile on the dial she said "I made it".  How different is that response to the everyday commuter or the person driving from Perth to Mandurah?  This is the difference between our faith journey today and the early faith wayfarers.  Yes, it was still a posted track but for her it was strange and adventurous, something out of the ordinary.  We are happy to plod along the path set for us by those who went ahead.  Yet, God calls us to the truth and the life as we live the way.  In seeking to do this we will be led by God out of the smooth tarmacked roads of today onto the seldom trodden paths that lead us into new life.  They are paths that are not often travelled in this day and age and are quite overgrown so we must watch our step.  They are paths that call us out into the community to proclaim the truth, to proclaim justice and righteousness for all people.

Forging the path that God has called us to

They are paths that call us to centre our lives on Christ and live in expectation of the hope that God's love will be abundant around us.  We will see the beauty of that love in the glimpse of rare flowers that blossom along the way as we discover the way to imbue peace into our community.  It will be seen in the magnificent waterfall of God's grace that will be a sign of his abundant love as we bring truth into the lives of those around us.  It is not an easy journey, it is also not one that many will flock to and it is a journey that is undertaken with the knowledge that our own resources will be sufficient because God will fill our lives with his abundance and goodness.  It means that we sometimes have to plan for futures that are unforeseen and challenging.  It means that we will suffer hardship and heartbreak.  It means that sometimes we may have to rough it with others forming a small band of wayfarers who are sustained by God's presence and grace.  It means speaking the truth of our hearts in the presence of God and knowing that we are listened to but maybe not getting our own way.  It means struggling and wrestling with God / Christ to determine what it is that God is asking of us.  It means not accepting the broad road that has been paved so that their are no bumps but rather being jolted on the mule tracks of life, hanging from a precipice and coming through, knowing God's love in our hearts and lives.

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