Over the course of our lives we all go on innumerable journeys. We travel to school, college, work, to visit family and friends, to go on holiday. Our journeys involve stops and starts, delays and detours and sometimes ventures into unfamiliar and unknown territory! As well as physical journeys, we have emotional journeys and spiritual journeys. We often refer to our growing and evolving faith, as our journey of faith. So it seems appropriate to start with this theme, as we enter the New Year.
We will look at the word JOURNEY letter by letter as follows:
J for Journeying On, O for Own Pattern of Prayer, U for Under Grace, R for Ready for an Adventure, N for Now, E for God is Everywhere, and finally Y for Yearns.
DAY 3: J – for Journeying On
Begin with a couple of minutes of stillness and silence, to let go of the things on your mind and to become aware of God’s presence.
READ: ECCLESIASTES 9:10 (NIV)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working, nor planning, nor knowledge, nor wisdom.
We are all familiar with the NIKE strap line ‘Just do it’! While reflection and consideration of where we are and where we are going is a wise strategy, it is important not to focus so much on that, that we miss the opportunities and blessings of doing what we are already called to do. The writer of Ecclesiastes encourages us, like the NIKE strap line, to do whatever our hands find to do with all our might!
I remember illustrating this point with reference to prayer, with a skipping rope, at a Kids Camp in Bangladesh. If you want to skip with a rope, first you need a rope! But researching where the wooden handles came from, the composition of the rope and its robustness, considering whether it was ethically produced with sustainable resources, would not help you skip. It would give you interesting information, but you have to actually use it, and I gave a short demonstration, much to the amusement of the children. So with prayer, reading books, listening to talks are all useful but you need to do it, learn as you go and keep journeying on!
Choose a word, phrase, or even the whole verse to silently ponder on. Turn it over and over in your mind and see what God will show you through it.
Epiphany celebrates the visit of the wise men to the Christ child. They journeyed from afar, following the star (Matthew 2:1-12) Let us pray that God would give us open minded and enquiring hearts like the wise men and the determination to follow our spiritual journey to the end.
Close with the Lord’s Prayer.
Carry your chosen word/phrase/verse into the day with you and repeat it at intervals during the day.
Make a note of the insights you gained from this verse in your journal.