the gathering got together today for what has become a bit of a tradition for our first service in the new year. A tradition that sees us consider the Christian Journey and wonder where we are with God and ourselves at this particular time.
If you have not seen or experienced ‘the journey’ I have blogged about it before here and in other blogs. Essentially the journey is an exercise where we get to think about where we currently are in our Christian life. The Christian life, we believe, is full of different experiences that happen over and over again. In our particular journey we have:
the mountain top : experiences where the air is clear and where you feel close to God with renewed vision, lots of energy and stuff. Mountain top experiences are great, you can see the rest of the journey before you and have a great sense of where everything is heading, but you can’t live here for long, nothing grows and the air is then so soon you have to come down.
the valley: this path often follows a mountain top experience. The sides of the valley are high, the valley is narrow and dark and sometimes you need to trust what you sw from the mountain and keep walking.
rivers cross the path unexpectedly. These can be times of refeshment or simply playing the water. You can choose to take a bridge over them or play or drink from them awhile.
the desert … a place where often you can feek disconnected from God, or disorientated. This is not really an enjoyable place and sometimes we can feel we may even be losing faith. The deset is a harsh place, but from scripture we also know it can be a place of preparation.
lakes are places where we can wallow, rest, and simply chill with God. AS we chill sometimes we find our vision develops.
the sea …. a place where you can walk out, beyond your depth, and simply let the sea of God take you where it will. This can often involve a step of faith of varying magnitude.
The image shows what our journey looked like today. After a brief introduction people of the gathering took glass beads and placed them where they thought they were on the journey today. Many of us felt that elements of our lives were in different places on the journey and so we placed a number of bead around different locations. Personally I felt I was in the rocky desert and in the shallows of the sea. Others were on mountain tops, in valleys, in lakes, deserts ….. members of the gathering were scattered around the whole journey. The exiting thing I find about the journey each time I do it with a group of people is that we are all at different places at different times, but we are all on a journey. Each of these places is valid and correct, there is no wrong place to be … all is sacred because all is with God! Often we fall into the trap at looking at where others are and wishing we could be with them or be like them, when, actually, we are where we are with God and that is the right place.
I quoted Vesey in Developing Consciousness last year, and his writing is apt following our gathering today:
You are always in exactly the right place to be able to take the next step.
It is an amazing realisation, that you are, right now, in exactly the right place to begin this journey.
Your whole life has brought you to this point. Everything you have ever done has brought you to the point of reading these words now. And everything has conspired for you to be in exactly the right place. You could not be in a better place.
And that is true for every single moment of your life.
You are never in the wrong place. All you can do is to not recognise you are in the right place, and then automatically you miss the point and opportunity of that moment.
To be in the right place at the right time you simply have to acknowledge the rightness of the moment, and thus the moment become yours.
Do it now, without qualification.
Whatever our circumstances, wherever you are. Trust this moment as being one that is right. One that has meaning. One that is setting you on a journey outside the box, and it will be so. And what is the next step? Well … ask yourself that …. what is the next step? What do you do right now as the next step?
The gathering then concluded our time together by sharing communion and saying the Methodist Covenant Prayer together …. if you don’t know it go and have a read, it’s a pretty amazing thing to pray.
Thank you people of the gathering fro making today a pretty special experience …. her’s to continuing the journey …
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