Monday, November 09, 2020

Traveling Without a Map

(Kenya)

During the season of pandemic, people are having to make decisions they have never faced before. This goes for me, too. The truth is, I do not always know what I am doing and where we are going.

My verses for these days are Hebrews 11:8 - 10:

By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.

Abraham traveled without a map. He went by faith. To live by faith is, in the act of faith, to go without a map.

I like how Thomas Merton puts this. He writes: "The real function of discipline is not to provide us with maps, but to sharpen our own sense of direction so that when we really get going we can travel without maps." (Contemplation in a World of Action, 108)

Our lives should look like the maps of the apostle Paul. Which means: Spirit-led, and thus unpredictable, and non-programmable. Ultimately, as we experience the mind of Christ, we become less map-dependent. We come to intuit when and where and how our Shepherd's voice is leading us.