Monday, 3 November 2014

From the Cradle to the Grave

10 Minute Daily Retreat (no.12)
By Susanne Timpani. 
The first blog I ever followed belonged to a friend, Sam Clear, who walked around the world. While he had a specific purpose to his journey and knew the final destination, he had no way of knowing the dangers and adventures that lay ahead.

I’ve known others who have hiked the Kokoda Trail, visited Gallipoli, reached the Base Camp in Everest or climbed Mera Peak in Nepal. Last week we heard from Leanne Walsh and viewed a photo of Julie Rogers in their respective journeys along the Camino de Santiago.

While in high school, one of my children had the opportunity to raise money and volunteer amongst the homeless in Nagpur,India. I’ve made pilgrimages of my own, the most memorable being to Jerusalem, and the subsequent Good Friday procession along the Via Dolorosa.

Alma O'Donnell and crew on Kokoda PNG
Most of us will return from these journeys changed in some way. The more reflective we are, the greater capacity there is for personal growth. However, we don’t need to travel overseas to make an important journey. Albeit used in a different context, I do like Winston Churchill's metaphor when he stated;  'from the cradle to the grave.' When we introduce God into our experience, it enriches our entire life journey.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus and His disciples set out on a journey into Jerusalem. ‘As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.’ (Luke 9:51)

The subsequent ten chapters in the Gospel of Luke show Jesus walking along this road, using every opportunity to teach His disciples about God. In Luke Chapter 10, one man came up to Jesus to clarify who Jesus meant when He said to love your neighbour. ‘…and who is my neighbour?’

I can just imagine Jesus looking over His shoulder at the road they had just walked, and then indicating the road that lay ahead. He then responds with, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of bandits…’ (Luke 10:30) The story of the ‘Good Samaritan’ unfolds and Jesus’ disciples learn something new about God.

We must have so many questions to ask Jesus about this journey which is our life. The amazing fact is that before we even ask them He already knows our thoughts.
Why not spend a few moments in His presence and reflect on this amazing verse from Psalm 139:2-6?

You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
And when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
Even before I say it, Lord.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

Too great for me to understand!

Susanne Timpani

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.