When years ago I first heard the word journey used to describe life with God, I felt relief. I found it beautiful. It still illustrates for me the promise of His ever-presence. Of adventure.
The idea created some friction, also. I see that now, because I always wanted to arrive. Ta-Da! Then, everything would be all better. Band-Aid unnecessary for myself and for those I scraped along the way. Arrival meant smooth sailing. But that’s not what God promises.
Neither does He promise that we will achieve His wisdom, His intelligence, or His understanding, far from it. Certainly, He gives wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Read Proverbs and James. Still, He is the Lord, all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful. And, oh-so-loving.
But it takes time. Of course, I knew that on a brain level for years. But my heart bubbled up as the issue. Still does, though God’s done great works in me. Wanting to achieve. Wanting to stay on top of things. Wanting to be the smart one. To be sought after, that would be nice. To keep up. To achieve or establish something outstanding for Him. Wouldn’t that bring God glory?
But guess what. When I think that way, when we think that way, we’re measuring in human terms. By numbers. By appearances. By the physical world. Those can give us important clues, but sole reliance on those brings pressure.
The term journey refreshes.
Sure, it indicates commitment, and questions still arise. To truly journey with God means we enjoy a relationship with Him through His Son. He has reservations made for us in Heaven. Look in the book of John. The journey starts here, but continues in Heaven.
We follow His purpose to glorify Him. We perform good deeds not to impress Him or achieve sweat equity to get into Heaven, but out of gratitude, love and direction from God. That’s why the relief. That’s why the fun in the journey. And it’s a humbling honor. The gift lies in just being His.
Right now, I am living in the middle, the beautiful middle, of a leadership class called Emerging Journey. Today, we finished an emotionally challenging step in our class, sharing our personal spiritual narratives.
The narratives, abbreviated autobiographies, include spiritual impacts and lessons from life events. We all shared with great openness. We weren’t required to share every detail, every sin, every wound. But the content showed our humanity. We shed tears, and we prayed. We encouraged one another. Through this, I gained a deeper respect and love for people I already looked forward to seeing each week.
Human relationships make up a critical part of the journey. God doesn’t ask us to go it alone. In fact, quite the opposite. Check out the book of Acts.
Last week, I shared my spiritual narrative, sharing more details, certainly at once, than I’ve ever shared with any other group of people. It wasn’t easy. It was safe.
I see value in the writing process, because God revealed ways He works with great continuity in my life. He even brought to mind some sweet memories that made me giggle. I see better now why I love kids, what and Who motivates me to help friends and others in crisis, and how I feel satisfied when I express myself creatively.
I believe more deeply and know more gratitude for God’s reign over me. I love the journey, with His people, and with Him.
©2012 Copy and Photo Helene Bergren All Rights Reserved.