“I will go, though I do not know the way” – Frodo
“By faith, Abraham went out, not knowing where he was going.” – Hebrews 11:8
History tells us that life itself is a journey, and that it’s the journey that is vital to our transformation. Abraham was on a journey. Moses? 40 years in the wilderness following the flame and the cloud and being transformed in the process. David? On the run. Jesus? 40 days in the wilderness. Paul? On the road when he encounters the Christ.
In every instance, the literal journey is the backdrop for the soul journey each of us must take for our transformation. All of us are invited, even called, to move: from greed to generosity, lust to love, bitterness to forgiveness, despair to hope… and more. What steps are we taking towards wholeness? What steps do we resist? How do we know when to move and when to stay? How does money, sexuality, our relationship to our bodies, our vocations, our goals, enhance or impede our journey.
If the journey’s successful, we arrive at our destination wiser than we were back down the road. If we get stuck wandering aimlessly, we become the embodiment of less desirable things, like boredom, cynicism, enslavement to our appetites, and disengagement from the challenges of our time.
We are, all of us, called to places we’ve never been before, and the sooner we surrender our lust for the illusion of control, the sooner we’ll find courage and adventure, hope and healing, wisdom and love. But the journey will take, not only to places we’ve never been, but to places’ we’d never choose. This is what I mean by wild faith.
There’s a hearing. It comes to us in dreams, or songs, or after a conversation in the corner booth of a Tuesday night with the one we love, or maybe at a graveside or in a hospital, or in the wake of infidelity. However it comes to us, we hear the voice calling, beckoning: “Serve. Give. Reconcile. Heal. Embrace the challenge. Risk. Deny yourself. Rejoice. Celebrate. Mourn. Go. ”
There’s a wrestling with what we’ve heard. Was it the wine, or divinity? The weakness that I’m easily dissatisfied, or the strength that I’m willing to risk it all, to shoot the moon, in pursuit of a better story? Discerning between the Siren calls of temptation and the tug of the divine; having the courage to say yes, or no.
There’s a response. Sometimes the response includes the creating of lists, naming the possible rewards and losses should we undertake the journey. We pray. We consult. We listen to our dreams, more intently than ever. Then we go. Or stay. Whichever way we decide, it will make all the difference.
There’s a preparation. If we’re going, there’ll be things to do, so that already, before we step outside the house, our priorities have changed. We’re reading up instead of watching TV, saving and buying what we’ll need. Getting in shape so that we can handle it. Learning skills, and finding our lives pruned, and richer for the less that it’s become.
There’s a leaving. At some point, after we’re prepped and packed, there’s nothing left to do except walk out the front door, and whether it’s for a weekend getaway, or for last time, or for God only knows how long in between, this moment, this nano second of turning away from the familiar, is vital necessity, for though we’re told we can have it all, I know now that this is rubbish; know now that I can’t live in the new and hold on to yesterday.
Click. The door is closed. The Journey begins.
Visit here and you’ll find posts to equip you for the journey. You’ll find invitations to adventures, and testimonies of those who’ve gone to wild places – both geographically and spiritually.
You’ll also find stories of my own wild adventures in the Alps, which framed the basis of this book. In it I cover themes of call, guidance, discernment, decision-making, preparation, focus, endurance, storms, carrying weight, simplicity, encounter, beauty, fear, hope, rest.