January: A Jouney without End


“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

How often are we offered the opportunity to take an epic “Abraham” journey? Do we recognize when God asks us to leave all that we know and love to follow an unknown path? Perhaps we close our ears to the invitation. Abram loved God, and God recognized his devotion. Would Abram’s love and devotion flow deep enough in his soul for Abram to surrender to God’s challenge?

Formation is journey without end, constantly changing and adapting to the environment surrounding us. There is love, there is devotion and if we are willing accept, surrender. It is a joy to love God, joyful work to be devoted to God, but it must be the most wonderful joy to surrender to God. I pray that when I am called by God to follow, I can have the strength to surrender to His call.

These are the rules I use for leading families in the formation of their faithful lives, to teach our children about the love of God, to be devoted in service to others in His name, and to surrender our will to His will. Helping anyone to know that God is more in charge than we are is difficult. It’s only natural that a parent wants to do everything possible to provide for their family, to make sure their children are safe and to be responsible for creating a happy home. Surrender doesn’t seem like a good vocabulary word for parenting.

As a wife and a parent and a formation leader I’ve taken many journeys that have ended with surrender, we all have. There have been many times that I recognized that I wasn’t in charge and, although I was afraid, I followed the unfamiliar path. Recognizing, and helping others to recognize, the opportunities for surrender seems to me to be an important part of what we should be doing for the church’s children and youth and young adults and older adults. And yet as fundamental as it sounds, it’s difficult to set the example. It’s difficult to relinquish control over what we hold dear or what we feel responsible for in our life and work.

If we’re afraid to let go and step out and go a new way, we’re not being true to who we say we are. I think of the practices that are tried and true for our community, the things that have always worked well – why would we want to follow a new path? The answer is not that we want to increase attendance or respond to a survey or please our vestry – the answer is that we are continually called to follow a new path.

I find myself now on a journey with you. While it may be a journey that I was not expecting, I am overwhelmed with excitement about things to come for us.  What is calling you? Where are you called to go? We are called every day to seize the opportunity to be living a new life in Christ; we are offered the gift of surrender.

“And Abram journeyed on…” Genesis 12:9