My blogging journey from the beginning for those who are interested. Each week I will include one of those original blogs from Martin Scott’s Perspective site. February 4th 2010 and the blogging began. Never did this before, but what therapy, what a joy, what a chronicling of a journey that never ends. In many ways things have developed, but it is good to see where we come from to appreciate where we are. All in the healing. Enjoy or endure…
Journey/pilgrimage. The day I woke up to the fact that life is primarily about the journey and not about the destination was the day I embarked on a journey of my own. Not that my journey began that day, because the whole of life is a pilgrimage, but it was the day I realised God made me to be a pilgrim and not one who has arrived. So I started to journey and see that life was full of twists and turns and pain and wrong decisions, but one that was also liberating and surprising and spontaneous and so full of God. This was a total foreign concept to someone brought up in the Pentecostal tradition where the emphasis is on about the preparation for heaven, heaven being good and holy, and this world being something dirty, fallen and nasty. Always looking to where we will end up, seeing life as in the way, a bit of a burden we have to carry until one day we will be with Him in glory.
But what about today? What about a hurting cosmos that Jesus died for? Is it only about evangelistic campaigns to get people to sign up for heaven? What about the Kingdom, the earth, the creation, my neighbours, MY LIFE?
About ten years ago I was about to go on holiday with Allison, my wife. We were leaving the kids behind (at that time we had three boys, we now have four, Joel 17, Daniel 14, John 12 and Matthew 7.), the “ministry” behind (I was a ‘local church pastor’ in the Rhondda Valleys, Wales-I had been one of these, whatever they are, since I was 22 years of age!!!) and getting on a bus that would take 23 hours to get to its destination in Spain. Thinking of that long journey someone gave me some advice that became revelation for the whole of life later on. They said,
As soon as you step on that bus take the journey as part of your holiday
Those words saved our holiday because the journeys were, what shall we say, adventurous! Breakdowns, blow-outs, wrong turns, detours, missed ferries, everything to make the whole holiday a disaster. But what did we do?
WE LAUGHED!!! WE ENJOYED!!! We took in the surroundings of places we had never seen before. We appreciated life off the beaten track. IT IS STILL OUR BEST HOLIDAY EVER!!!! We had an amazing time. Were there times we were tired? Yes. Were we tempted to be frustrated? Yes. But we made it a life affirming time.
I soon learned that life was to be treated in the same way. If we are going to live life more abundantly and express Christ to a broken world we cannot just be focused on a destination. There has to be an appreciation and connection with daily life, whatever faces us. There has to be a time to live in the sphere’s of life, family, work, recreation, the arts, politics, sickness, broken relationships. It is not about building a church, a club where people separate themselves from anything that is real or ‘worldly’. It is about Logos becoming flesh and dwelling amongst them. This journey had a drastic affect on my life when I finally moved out of ‘full-time church pastoral ministry’ after 18 years, and became a night-shift worker filling shelves for Asda/Walmart. That will be a story for another time….
These verses continue to haunt me
Blessed is the man whose strength is in you. Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength, each one appears before God in Zion. Psalm 84:5-7.
I ask myself every day now, what is my heart set on?
Every day I want to reply
JOURNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and making where I am a place of pools.