Well, we’re all still plodding along on our journey through the Bible in 90 day’s. It’s been positively addictive thus far. I never would have thought it possible to read through the Pentateuch with relish (not the edible kind -though I’ve snacked a fair bit while reading I must confess 😉
Genesis was highly readable. Exodus wasn’t as great a struggle as I had anticipated…Leviticus, well, that was never going to be easy was it. I got through Numbers in the last two days and I’ve just begun Deuteronomy.
Lot’s of blood and gore and disobeying God. Lot’s of walking around in the wilderness. Pretty much like living in the 21st Century actually.
Seriously though (as if I wasn’t being serious) I hadn’t expected it to be so fulfilling. The geneologies have been difficult along with all those begats, clans, tribes and bloody offerings…admittedly I’ve skimmed all the names that I couldn’t pronounce straight off. I didn’t want to get hung up on it and allow my enjoyment to be diminished so while I appreciate the line of descendants I’m not going to mortify myself with a crowbar because I didn’t labour over every single word.
So. We’re cooking.
The call for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac hit me more profoundly than it has before. The test of Abraham’s faithfulness caused me to reflect upon my own faithfulness to God more deeply than I have before.
For years I lived a nominally Christian existance. Thanks be to God that he led me to a deeper, life enriching, spirit-giving relationship with Him..but all the same, though I am dedicated to living in communion with His Holy Catholic Church and in accord with His will for my life, am I yet faithful? Am I prepared to give to God that which is most precious to me, just as Abraham was prepared to do?
How can I know?
I want to believe that the answer is yes, but I can’t know more than that. I hope I don’t ever have to endure the Isaac Test! (I’m not talking about burning my children at the top of a hill…think big screen here).
If, however, all that I am, all that He has given to me, belongs to Him, then I have nothing and am nothing, without Him. My most precious gifts are my children. On loan from God while I live on this earth. How did I ever get to be so fortunate? Because He loves me. Simple. He gave me the blessing of motherhood to bless my journey of faith.
There are many mountain parables with regard to journeying to Christ. I happen to like this one…
Our life’s journey is like climbing a mountain.
We start at the beginning with what looks to be an almost insurmountable ascent to make. The journey seems impossible, we doubt that we can make it. Little by little, the things that are most precious to us, those things that we refuse to leave at the bottom of the mountain, well, the weight of them becomes heavy upon us…our walk becomes increasingly slower and the journey to our final destination, more difficult and troubling by the moment. How long will we carry the weight? Don’t we know that we must journey alone? While we may have company on our journey, the journey of personal faith is ours alone just as no other can use our free will for us.
We walk around the mountain in circles, often plodding along the same road twice. Conveniently forgetting that we have ‘been through this way before’ in the hope of there being a different outcome. Often we take 3 steps forward only to find that like a game of snakes and ladders we are slipping down the muddy slopes of life back into the snares and pits that we have grappled with so many times before.
Eventually we become so bogged down with the weight of our responsibilities and anxieties, our ‘wealth’ and our ‘necessities’ that we can neither move forward nor backward. But remain stagnant. Some of us give up. Some of us lose our way. Some of us see the goal and even though it seems like a lot of hard slog, we still think the journey is worth making.
At this point, the only way to move ahead is to relinquish some of the ‘baggage’ that we carry. That which weights us down and prevents us in continuing along our journey to the mountain top.
But will we let go of all that we hold dear?
It might not be so impossible a decision to make in relation to material wealth, but what of the relationships we hold dear?
Even these most precious of attachments, they are still attachments. How healthy are our relationships? Do we give them over to Christ? I for one can not imagine a life without my children. I don’t much imagine seeking solace in God if anything were to happen to either of them. I might possibly be so angry and despondant that I would reject God altogether…I suppose that’a an understandable reaction initially, or even for a length of time…but where then is my faith? Do I put my relationships above my love of God? Do I give my children the higher place in my life? How does God feel about that? Yes, I must love my children! But not obsess over them! I feel such love for my children that I feel that I would die without them…but what then is my relationship with God, if it is not hope?
For the one who perseveres along this journey, gradually the one who gives ‘all’ to God, achieves the longed for reward of reaching the summit.
Stripped bare and exposed in more than the crudest physical sense, we come before our Lord with no pretences, not a fig leaf in sight. It is when we have no weight (after all that climbing I should be positively slyph-like) at our journeys end, that we have everything that the soul longs for. In nothingness there is everything. In giving all to God there is absolute fulfillment.
How serious do I take my covenant with God? How faithful am I, will I hear my God say these words to me
“Well done, good and faithful servant”