Ever got to the end of a ‘life venture’, after a huge expenditure of time, resources & energy, wondering: “what next” “what happens now” “where do I go from here” ?

That “eureka” moment when realizing, with your dream’s fulfillment: that the focus has shifted behind rather than before you: that abrupt termination of planning and preparing, along with the sheer effort of making it happen, has created a substantial vacuum – even an anti-climax, after so many climaxes: and that it’s time to ‘dream’ some more !

For some it could be the end of years in education – with graduation. For others the arrival of ‘retirement age’ – presenting no further prospect of employment. Again, for others it could be the ending of a relationship – with the pain of bereavement or divorce.

The ending of an era.

Seems like our human ‘lot’ is full of such milestones, bringing us up sharply with a jolt, and beginning within us further quests for fulfillment, for meaning, for purpose – without which life may often become unbearable. Dreaming, visualizing, goal-setting, planning ahead, preparing and striving to achieve our vision, all seem so much part of what keep human beings  going – whether on a natural or spiritual level, don’t they ? Without them we may incubate negative feelings of disorientation, leading to disengagement, and disillusionment – and even wind up living in the land of disenchantment.

In personal terms, completing my sponsored walk, alongside conclusions (or imminent conclusions) of several projects, which have occupied me in the last year or so (e.g. mayoral chaplaincy, formation of a Community-led Plan) I find myself in a place of looking over potential vistas of the future, posing those searching questions & wondering what lies ahead. No doubt coming months will provide opportunity for evaluation and reflection on the way forward, and will not be ‘treading water’. No, waiting time is not wasting time.

Isn’t that what ‘pilgrimage’ is about ?

Concerning the archetypal pilgrim, Abraham, we read “he went out, not knowing whither he went” (the ‘quaint’ King James Version). The Message paraphrases it: “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” . The quick-eyed may notice my omission of 5 words at the start of this sentence, which actually says: ‘By an act of faith Abraham said “yes” …’

And, perhaps that serves to explain true purpose – to be a pilgrim: living with uncertainty, where faith comes into its own, and we’re called to trust, even when/what we don’t  see or understand.

He who would valiant be: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZtvDt1wpsA&feature=relmfu

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