Sometimes I like to go ‘old school’ and use a calendar, (one you hang on the wall) probably more for the photos than anything else. This year I ordered the Leunig calendar. The image you are looking at was for the month of January. What does it provoke in you?
When I first looked at it, I felt a sense of uncertainty, confusion, being alone. Lots of people individually wondering and wandering …which way should I go?
This image connected to what emerged for me from our spiritual retreat at the start of the year: the importance of walking with God.
This is what I recorded in my journal:
- Walk with Spiritual eyes.
- Be aware of God walking with me and of God’s guidance,
- Notice the ‘pace’ of the walk… don’t walk ahead, or behind.
- Walk with silence in my heart, without distractions which prevent me from hearing God’s voice.
- Walking in step with God helps me find love and acceptance.
- Ditch the personal baggage as it slows me down.
Something else has emerged as well. God leads us to walk not only with God but with others, we have been called by love to be love. So, who are these others? If we look to Jesus, we get a pretty clear picture of who he chose to walk with, those whom society saw as unworthy, disreputable and morally wrong, the outsiders.
Let’s just leave ‘others in society’ for a moment and focus more on MY ‘others’. I find it reasonably easy and enjoyable to walk with those who think like me, who align with my values and beliefs, and also those who I feel might need my help, those who are open to to me. However, I need to think about those who are the opposite to that for me, those people in my work and my life that I avoid or don’t even see. I suspect there are plenty of people within our own community that we avoid or treat as ‘other’ who could greatly benefit from a ‘walking partner’.
It is also worth considering not only who Jesus walked with but also how he walked with them. I need to reflect on how he spoke, how he created space for conversation, how he listened, how he was present, how he depended on God and how he made time for prayer.
Which takes us back to walking with God. Lent is the perfect opportunity to dedicate regular time for reflection or contemplation, to check in with God, to listen, and to see with ‘spiritual’ eyes.
Walking with God however will require us to trust, to ‘expect the unexpected’, to be open, to follow God’s GPS and to be prepared for a rocky, winding, monotonous, terrifying, but also exhilarating journey. The good news is that staying in step with God, means we are fueled by God’s unconditional love for us and our fellow walkers and that we get to see and experience life in a whole new way.
I would love to see a calendar image which could reflect this.
Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”.