Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings Fellow Traveller,
I recall on one particular morning a few months ago, while I was on Study leave in Salisbury, England there was a real pea soup fog. I could hardly see my hand in front of my face. A fog may be a useful metaphor to remind us that on our journey of life, we don’t always see the way ahead clearly. We might even wander off the pathway and find ourselves going round in circles and at other times we may feel we are on the road to nowhere.
This week while idly channel surfing, I came across that classic UK comedy series ‘One foot in the grave’ with that accident prone Victor Meldrew played by Richard Wilson and his long- suffering wife Margaret played by Annette Crosbie. The episode I came across has Victor unable to sleep, so he wakes up his wife Margaret who is fast asleep and in his usual manner complains to her, how the past has gone and future is not yet here, there is only the present.
This interaction reminded me that we often forget that life is a journey, not a destination. Sometimes, we want to be somewhere, anywhere but where we are, but Victor reminded me, there is only this present moment.
How then do we want to live in this moment? One way that may help us to live fully in this moment is to remind ourselves that we are not perfect, we will have down times, moments of frustration and anger, along with being uncertain of where we are on our journey. James K Baxter has these two lines, which I say often to myself:
I haven’t found a cure
For being human
Also what may prevent us from living fully in this the present moment, is that occasionally we succumb to temptation and revisit the past, we may play ‘the what if game,’ and attempt to re – imagine our lives differently. In these moments, we have to be on our guard, for an invitation to attend a ‘pity party’ will almost certainly arrive in our mail box. I find the following poem from the North American Chippewa Tribe a healthy reminder:
Sometimes, I go about pitying self,
and all the time
I am being carried on great winds across the sky.
The great wind within our tradition is the Ruach or Spirit of God, whose presence is present in each and every now moment of our journey. In particular, in those ‘fog’ moments, when we are uncertain about our next step on the journey, we are not alone; we are being carried and held within the divine embrace.
Meanwhile Peace within a Spirit of Generosity