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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Journey

Have you ever thought just how often we use this word? “It’s not so much the destination; it’s the journey that counts.”

I’m finding myself thinking just how many journeys I’m on—all at the same time! Is that really possible? Apparently, for I find myself simultaneously on the “journey of my whole life” the “journey of career” a certain “family journey” I share with that special group of people. You may recall last year my siblings and I moved to the front row of our family portrait following my mother’s death. Our journey entered a new phase as we became the older and wiser generation. Most of us felt the shift, without much real sense of being new people. I know I don’t feel a whole lot wiser, but there you are—there’s nobody else to ask now. It’s just us. All part of the journey!

Pilgrimage is also a lovely metaphor. But really, it’s just another word for journey. It’s a special journey undertaken for a purpose. I’ve read several accounts of the Camino de Santiago, most notably this one written by Joyce Rupp, that recounts the main reason for undertaking a pilgrimage as a time to reflect on one’s own life journey and consider the lessons our own life has for us, if we just pay attention. Most of us will not be packing our knapsacks and trekking over to Spain though to let the Spirit of life teach us. I know I won’t!

This week, Christians everywhere set out upon a kind of journey that begins with Ash Wednesday. It’s even referred to as the Lenten "Journey. Our denomination, or at least my experience of it, did not consider these signposts on the Christian calendar much when I was growing up. Ash Wednesday and Lent were considered too “high church” for our taste. My mother did usually serve pancakes for supper on Shrove (or Pancake) Tuesday. That was as special as we ever made it, with little connection to the days of sacrifice to follow.

But my life journey has taken me into different byways. I’ve come to appreciate the unfolding of the Christian story the liturgical calendar offers. I’m glad we’ve reclaimed our connections to the ancient ways. I like the idea of a little pause in my faith journey that allows me, even encourages me, to spend some time in intentional reflection about how my life, my faith, my relationship to matters spiritual or divine are going just now.

As I’m preparing for another turning point along my life’s path, this Lenten season comes at just a right moment for me. How often does that happen? Much too often to be considered entirely happenstance I think. There is an inherent wisdom in the cycles of the rituals that return again and again, giving us the opportunity—if we elect to use it—to slow down and consider just how this journey is going.

Like Advent, this time of Lent is the part of the “road to transformation that leads inward” (Section 161: 3d). Like Advent Lent is a “time of waiting” not only in the sense of anticipating a future event, but also a time to be, to rest in that waiting time as a significant and crucial element of the journey. I welcome it. What about you?

Posted by Marion

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