Life is a Journey

Apologies for my apparent absence during the last week.  My journey has been a long one but it involved some good times with good friends and an interlude with Velvet Revolver in Brixton Academy to bring me to this point.  And it is here at this point that I turn to the final leg of my dissertation and discover the blindingly obvious part of our worship life – Life is a Journey. 

It sounds too obvious doesn’t it.  I can’t have been missing this the whole time can I?  I have spent years talking about how the liturgy of the church is supposed to be a journey.  We should come in to worship and be changed by our encounter with God.  We should be inspired to continue our walk with God.  And yet I seem to have missed the point.  It is all a journey!

I am reading Creating Uncommon Worship by Richard Giles and he has this notion that The Church would look completely different if Jesus followers had not been referred to as Christians  but instead continued to be followers of “The Way” (Acts 24:14).  We have subsequently put down roots and laid foundations for Church.

No matter how glorious or inspirational they can be, we pay a heavy price for our sacred buildings.  In many of them the lack of ‘living stones’ has become and irrelevance beside the new-found craze to ‘preserve’ at all costs these dead stones redolent of a God who has (apparently) departed.

Robert Louis Stevenson, in Travels with a Donkey, wrote ‘For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travels sake.  The great affair is to move.’  That says it perfectly.  This too has been the insight of the Judeo-Christian tradition, an insight that history teaches us is all too easily buried beneath stability, success and worldly influence.

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3 Responses

  1. I don’t think you *missed* the point, Robb – I think you just re-discovered it. 🙂 (and this is coming from someone who often misses the very obvious…)

    the book sounds excellent – i shall have to add it to my wish list. 🙂

  2. Have you read “The Final Steps in Christian Maturity,” by Madam Guyon? I would reccommend it.

    I think some confusion arises because there are parrallel journeys, but each have universal principals. Stevenson identifies one journey, one truth. If one is to have a dynamic life, then yes, the journey is a must. As long as one is moving then one is living. The destination is not that important, just as long as one is challenged and constantly moving away from the “comfort zone,” then one would be having a great life and actually living.

    Now, in our journey with God, the movement is at first inwards then out towards Him. We must journey to the center of our hearts, then when we have arrived, we must keep going towards Him. Introspection is ultimately only useful if we keep going past ourselves.

    There is a garden of our hearts, a pool of living water that every child is born with. This is who we are, who we were made to be by God. Childhood, life, dysfunction(we are all dysfunctional) causes us to throw up walls and seal of that living water. This water, that was meant to flow, now becomes stagnant. The true journey of life is the journey of discovery, to discover who God truly meant us to be. One cannot even begin this journey unless one has a dynamic encounter with God Himself.

    Love is the ultimate destination.Perfect love, God Himself , is a ten, and pefect hate is -10 and all human beings are somewhere on the scale. If one is born into a family and raised by parents who are a 1 on the scale, then that is the capacity for that child. He can go no further than his experience allows, for love is learned. If he meets and marries a 2, then problems will arise. He will love to his maximum and fall short of his #2 wife. He has no control over that and neither of them will understand the dynamic.

    Now here is the good news. If one encounters God with the heart, not with the head, then one has just been touched by 10. Now that one has the capacity to love as God loves. He must journey, he must encounter again and again, but now the journey is even possible. Each true encounter with God is like a sign post along the highway. The road will lead to your walls. The walls will come down, the water will be released and begin to flow and you will journey on towards God Himself.

    So we “meet Him,” and yet we journey towards Him. There is no dichotomy here. Just as God is ommipresent, we are still urged to “come to me.” He still says “I stand at the Door and Knock.” He still says “come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden.” A beautiful tension that requires us to do something, otherwise we would die in passivity………………………..Frank

  3. Thanks Frank. That’s really helpful.

    Happy, you are probably right. I think something is fantastic and then I move onto the next thing. Alexie Sayle said that heads are like sheds. If you stick enough boxes in one end they eventually start coming out the other end 😆

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