Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings fellow traveller,
For the past week, I have been under attack from a flu virus. This was most unexpected, because I had the flu vaccination earlier this year. While reading the Stuff web site, I learnt that a rogue flu strain has surfaced in New Zealand and the flu vaccination does not ensure immunity from this rogue flu virus.
The technology around viruses and vaccine is beyond my understanding, however, I know the flu is quite debilitating, but it does offer moments for quiet reflecting and thought gathering. One such train of thought I had was around how I assumed because I had had the flu vaccination I was protected, alas, I was wrong. So in life, I may assume certain things will be predictable and go according to what I want. Alas, along comes something, which challenges that thinking, my life changes and I travel along another pathway.
We may apply this to the Christian faith journey in particular Church life and mission. I recall some years ago, someone once saying to me (not here at St Aidans), ‘Church life was once stable, predicable, it was under our control, now it is like life, always changing I don’t know were I stand.’ I can’t recall my response to such honesty, but I have often thought about those words.
If asked now, I would say something like: being Christ followers within the wideness and the spacious love of God does not ensure everything stays the same and we are guaranteed a stress free existence. Rather, we are given the gift of exercising our faith, to practice courage within the face of uncertainty and anxiety. I leave you with this prayer:
why are we in such a hurry to judge each other?
You do not rush to judgment.
You stay with us,
not distancing yourself because we are silly, irritable or incomplete.
Forgive us our haste and guide us patiently.
why do we deceive each other
with looks, with words, with touch?
You do not play those games with us,
but open your hands so we see the marks of your caring.
Forgive us our pretenses and teach us openness.
why are we so frightened to set our gifts free?
You have given them to us
and told us we are precious in your sight.
What more do we need, except courage.
Forgive us our fears and hesitations and push us into courage.
Teach us what it means to be vulnerable to love