There are lots of stories journeys where people leave where they were, following God as they step out of what is safe, familiar and certain, into something new, different and unknown but they do it following where God has lead them.
For Abra(h)am and his family, they didn’t know where their journey would end, they knew that God could be trusted, and was worth following.
That stepping out on a journey not knowing the end destination is too very like the Epiphany, the visit of the wise men, they saw the star and followed it not knowing where they would end up, but knew that where their journey finished would change them forever when they knelt before the new King.
The Israelite’s journeyed from slavery in Egypt to the promised land via the desert to a land flowing with milk and honey, yet the journey was tough, hard and costly.
Yet many of us are on spiritual journeys, maybe God isn’t calling us to give pickfords removal firm a ring just yet, but lots of us are on a journey stepping out of the comfortable, familiar, the safe and the known into the watery uncertainty (although a short journey Peter took walking on the water towards Jesus what a step of faith that was!!) but knowing that we are stepping out where our Saviour beckons.
I have been on a journey in my head for a long time, re-thinking what it means to be a follower of Christ, what it means to be Church, how do we reach out to those who don’t know Christ in a way that enables people to fly in discipleship as they follow Christ.
I’m not sure where the journey will end, but I think the danger of not stepping out with God, wrestling with the questions, pushing doors, tentatively wandering with water lapping our toes, as we journey to the new and where God is leading sometimes the journey also becomes the training ground -the place of preparation-, the deserts are tough as we want not to be travelling but to arrive…
Yet with these type of questions and wrestling, do we ever arrive? Do we ever stop journeying? Or are we more more like an Abraham character, called to something of a perpetual journey, a nomadic existence, where we are life long learners, spiritual travelers.
In fact maybe we are called to be like sharks who need to keep moving in order to live, perhaps the sense of journey is meant to be a constant in the Christian life, yet because we are used to comfortable stable cosy Christian life in the west, these feeling feel alien to us, could these yearnings actually be what Paul calls the groaning of the spirit, a yearning for the Kingdom of God coming in all its fullness and our final rest and peace in our one true home which Christ himself, the ultimate traveller (who came from heaven to earth, from birth to the cross, from death to life and leads us in the way of life).
Often we are called pioneers, but in fact really we are just following the one true pioneer Christ.