"Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than as a possession. It is on-again-off-again rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure where you're going but going anyway. A journey without maps." - Frederick Buechner
Journey. I really love that word. It awakens something in me that I cannot explain. It seems so...infinite and inviting.
Infinite because it seems to capture the endless possibilities and lessons to be learned in this life. Also because as Christians we know that we are not Home yet, but we're ever on our way. Sometimes that way is treacherous. Sometimes it is wondrous. Most of the time it falls somewhere in between.
Inviting because it seems so...communal. The idea of journey seems to imply that there are others on the road with us. Oh sure, sometimes it seems as if we are all alone on our journey. Like we are being asked to walk this endless road by ourselves. We feel lonely, abandoned, and utterly isolated. But it is all an illusion. There is at least that eternal Someone there beside us and often countless others surrounding us seeking to walk the same path. On our best days there's a tangible person or two with whom we can share the ups and downs of the journey who has chosen to take the journey, too.
I am at a point in my journey where I am exhilarated by the idea that it is a journey without maps. If you had asked me a year ago how I felt about it, the answer would have been different. I felt isolated and alone and angry that I didn't have a blueprint for the journey. There's no blueprint or map right now for any part of my life and I'm loving it! I feel excited about what is ahead even though I see it not.
Why the extremes in response to this journey without maps? Well, the easy answer is that I am human. It happens. The better answer is that I find myself trusting God to a greater degree at this point in the journey. My vision is clear and I am able to see how He has guided me through the mountaintops and valleys of my life and that He continues to do so now.
Ask me again in a year and I might have different thoughts (depending on the day). For now, I'm excited about what is around the next corner and cannot wait to see where He is leading me. I also look forward to sharing this journey with the unbelievable people He has placed in my life who can remind me what I've said here today when I find myself in the less-than-enthusiastic camp...