By Valerie Lamont
We have all been horrified and saddened by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, the sight of the piles of rubble that were once family homes filled with love and laughter, the sight of groups of people huddled round an open fire trying to keep warm, their struggle for food to eat and fresh water to drink. Thousands have been killed and many more made homeless. But that all happened in a country far away. It was a sudden jolt for me to hear that one of the devastated towns used to be called Antioch, a place I had heard often mentioned in the Bible. Antioch was the leading city of Syria in the Roman Empire. St Paul journeyed there in his missionary effort to spread the word of the Lord and the word ‘journey’ in particular.
Much is made of the word Journey when pundits are discussing “Strictly” …a journey from never dancing to accomplishing some amazing feats on the dance floor. In the TV programme The Piano, I have been astounded by the way some pianists have taught themselves to play the piano during lockdown and are now excellent pianists…from no skill to a very high standard. We talk about our journey of faith from not believing to becoming committed Christians. I cannot find a starting point in my journey of faith. I was being taken to church each week before I was even born, and it never occurred to me that there was any other way to live than to be welcomed and loved in the arms of Jesus.
Our physical journey through life is all too evident in the passage of time with dimming eyesight, aching joints and ailments too many to mention, a slowing down in all senses of the word. Our journey through life can also get bogged down by the baggage of worry or loss or simply stuck in the mud and not going anywhere or moving onward at all. Have we ever been able to look back and find times when we’ve been able to say, ”That makes sense, I see it all now.” Every day we can learn something new, there are lots of things out in the world for us to learn more about.
I wonder…this is a reflection after all! …do we ever stop and think about ourselves? Let’s think about the people we have seen during this past week or maybe spoken to on the phone…have you had to face any particular challenges this past week? …are you feeling content or are there worries distracting you from enjoying each moment?…can you talk it over with Jesus? Our journey with Jesus isn’t going to take away our worries and upsets, but He can and does give us an inner resolve, a deep peace that will guide our reactions to all the mess that our lives can bring.
We can, however trust in God’s compassion, mercy and forgiveness.
Read Psalm 23 Slowly, then sing
“Round the corners of the world I turn, more and more about the world I learn Give me courage when the world is tough, keep me loving though the world is rough.”
Pray ‘Dear Lord, keep me travelling along with you’