There is an old Hebrew prayer that recognises the journey of life upon which each person embarks. Beginning with birth and honouring death, not as end, but as the destination, success is measured by the way in which we embrace each stage in our lives. This life journey takes us “from youth to age, from innocence to awareness, from ignorance to knowledge, from foolishness to wisdom, from weakness to strength and often back again, from offence to forgiveness, from loneliness to friendship, from pain to compassion, from fear to faith, from defeat to victory, and from victory to defeat, until, looking backward or ahead, we see that victory does not lie at some high point along the way but in having made the journey stage by stage. It is indeed a celebration of a ‘graced life story’
Growth on the journey centres on the struggles we experience at the various stages in our lives. In journeying from resistance and denial to anger and bargaining until we reach the moment of acceptance, we travel from that place of wilderness where nothing satisfies our dropping spirits to coming home to that place of peace where we experience a deep sense of “God-is-with-us.” It is the journey where I learn to leave to leave behind the Pharisaical attitude that “I am self sufficient” and able to go to that place where I hear the Lord’s invitation to adopt the heart of the Publican who realised his deep need for God. It is a pilgrim journey that is deeply blessed.
“the pilgrims paused on the ancient stone in the mountain gap. behind them stretched the roadway they had travelled. already a far journey.. was it a lifetime? ahead, mist hid the track . unspoken the question hovered. why go on?.. is life not short enough? why seek to pierce its mystery? why venture further on strange paths, risking all? surely that is a gamble for fools.. or lovers . why not return by the known road? why be a pilgrim still?..
a voice they knew called to them saying; this is Trasna, the crossing place ..choose! go back if you must ,you will find your life easily by yesterday’s road. you can pitch your tent by yesterday’s fires .there may be life in the embers yet. if that is not your deepest desire, stand still .lay down your load. take your life in your two hands, [gently.. you are trusted with something precious] while you search your hearts yearnings; what am I seeking? What is my quest? when your star rises deep within, you will have light for your step. ..this is Trasna, the crossing place. Choose! .. this is Trasna, the crossing place. Come!”