no. way. | John 14.5
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
John 14:5 | ESV
Thomas blurts out an interruption: “What are you talking about? We don’t have a clue where in the world you’re going, so how can we possibly even hope to know the way there!?”
MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
Most of us share Thomas’ obsession with destination. All of life can become fixated on destination. Christianity, spirituality, church, all of it can become one grand exercise in making sure we are going to the right place. But if we’re paying attention in the upper room, we just may hear Jesus telling us that the destination isn’t that shining heavenly mansion we fancy out there somewhere in time and space, but rather the intimacy of his Abba’s arms found here and now along every bend, curve, and switchback of the path that is Jesus.
More on that tomorrow in Jesus’ answer to Thomas.
Not everyone is able to walk, but most people can, which makes walking one of the most easily available spiritual practices of all. All it takes is the decision to walk with some awareness, both of who you are and what you are doing. Where you are going is not as important, however counterintuitive that may seem. To detach the walking from the destination is in fact one of the best ways to recognize the altars you are passing right by all the time. Most of us spend so much time thinking about where we have been or where we are supposed to be going that we have a hard time recognizing where we actually are. When someone asks us where we want to be in our lives, the last thing that occurs to us is to look down at our feet and say, “Here, I guess, since this is where I am.”
This truth is borne out by the labyrinth – an ancient spiritual practice that is enjoying a renaissance in the present century. For those who have never seen one, a labyrinth is a kind of maze. Laid out in a perfect circle with a curling path inside, it rarely comes with walls. Instead, it trusts those who enter it to stay on the path voluntarily. This path may be outlined with hand-placed stones out-of-doors or painted right on the floor indoors. Either way, it includes switchbacks and detours, just like life. It has one entrance, and it leads to one center. The important thing to note is that the path goes nowhere. You can spend an hour on it and end up twelve feet from where you began. The journey is the point. The walking is the point.
From An Altar in the World
Do you think of your spiritual life more as a destination to be reached (and making sure it’s the right one) or more as a journey or walk to be experienced? Why?
Lord, release me from my obsession with destination and arriving into the joys of experiencing you not merely in the journey but as the Journey. Through Jesus.