A Journeying We Will Go!

Sunset

Journeying into unknown BEAUTIFUL places…

According to dictionary.com, a journey is defined as:  a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time.  A LONG TIME!  That’s the faith journey I believe I am on…the long one.  My father-in-law and his son took a journey from New Orleans, LA to Seattle, Washington to move my brother-in-law.  The journey took 3 days in a car, along with a U-Haul.  That was described as a long journey.  Reflecting on that now, I think of all the things they must have seen, thought about, or talked about on that journey.  Three days is a long time to be in a confined space with another; or for that matter, even alone with only your thoughts.

We are all asked to go on a journey…maybe it isn’t in a car for thousands of miles.  But our journeys can take us thousands of miles to places we may not want to go, or maybe places we may not know exist.  That’s what this new journey in my life feels like.  The Lord has asked me to get into the passenger seat, and thanks to Carrie Underwood, I’ve got a song to sing to Him…Jesus…take the wheel.  This is not normal for me…I am not such a good passenger seat driver…just ask the hubby!  But, in this journey, my heart is longing to let go, and let God (Thank you, Momma for reminding me so many times in my life!).  I also have Holy Scripture to guide me, especially when I want to resist the places He is taking me.

Wise Men on their journey to the baby Jesus.

Wise Men on their journey to the baby Jesus.

Think of the Wise Men, on their journey for a couple of years, until they come to the place where Jesus lay.  The Wise Men teach us so much about faith.  They teach us so much about obedience and persistence on the journey.  They were following a star – one that told them lots of the significance of what was happening.  If that wasn’t enough, they were approached by angels telling them what to do.  Yet, they continued to trust, and moved toward Christ.

That’s where our journeys should lead us – to Christ.  Whether you work outside of the home, inside of the home, consecrated, in a religious order, a mom, a lay single person, or in whatever station of life you find yourself in…As a Catholic, we are called to journey continuously toward Christ.  Certainly, women have a particular way to do this.  Certainly, you have a particular calling by our Lord to do this.  I know that I can do this in small ways every day, but do it with big love, just as Blessed Mother Theresa modeled for us.  As a working Catholic mom, I can do this by the way I seek to understand my staff before seeking to be understood by them.  I can do this in my actions of avoiding calumniation of colleagues, in order to help keep their reputation intact.  I can do this by reaching out to those who are aching in their hearts with some problem they struggle with that may impact their performance at work.  I can show compassion, and trust in them when they are at their most vulnerable.  In whatever station in life you are in, you are called to this kind of love.  This is the love that keeps us on the journey to Christ.

I am reminded of John 21: 18.  This is the part of John’s Gospel when Jesus is instructing Peter to “feed my sheep.”  I love this part of the Gospel, because it is a glimpse into Jesus instructing Peter about building the Church, and indicating to him the type of redemptive suffering he may encounter on his journey.  Here is what Jesus says to Peter, and I think it gives us lessons today about our own journeys:

Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.

This death to self reminds me I am created for something beyond myself.  This may be “something” I do not even understand.  But in obedience to our Lord, I strike out in faith, and go where He is calling me.  I do this in my journey, which includes my work life, my vocation as wife and mother, and in my relationship with our Lord.  Sometimes it is frightening, and sometimes as I see the places I am going, I want to turn around.  It is only with my faith that I can move forward on the path…the path which brings me to the crib of Christ.

May your Christmas journey to the Epiphany continue to stretch you beyond your comfort zone, and bring you to places you may not want to go, but that increase your faith beyond your imagination.

Top 3 Strategies for journeying in your faith journey:

1.  Stay the course.  It may seem scary at first, especially as you get good at hearing the will of God in your heart.  Stay the course.  Bring your fear to Him.  Tell Him that you are frightened, and don’t know if you will be able to do what He is asking you to do.  He can HEAR this and bring you peace about your journey.  But, stay the course.

2.  Find a Scripture passage that brings you comfort as you move forward on your journey.  Besides the one I mentioned above, I love Jeremiah 29:11.

3.  Find others who are on faith journeys themselves and talk with them.  Lend one another support and encouragement as you move forward together.

Bonus Strategy!  Read blogs and on-line resources that support your counter-cultural choices and lifestyle as you journey toward Christ.  There are some great blogs out there, and I have several of them on my blog roll!

Peace of Christ to you!

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