Readings: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 78:1-39; 1 Corinthians 7:32-40; Mark 6:1-13.
Ok, so maybe it's just because it's on my mind, but it seems like all the readings today apply to my impending travels. I'll stick with Genesis and 1 Corinthians for tonight.
In Genesis, Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers and has an idea that they should move to be closer to him. This will require lots of preparation, as they will have to bring their kids, servants, wives, possessions--their livelihood--with them. As I write I have yet to begin packing for my trip to Taize. I have been trying to catch up with paperwork, schoolwork, and other odds and ends so that I can truly leave everything behind for a bit. Tomorrow I'll need to do laundry, make a run to a few stores, go to two meetings, and finish packing, all before 4:45pm. Whew! Preparation is difficult!
In Paul's letter to the people of Corinth, the very first verse is something I need to take to heart on this trip: "I want you to be free from anxieties" (v. 32). If you know me, then you know that I am quite an anxious person. I think that, for the most part, I am able to hide it pretty well, but people who are close to me can attest that many times I'm wound tighter than a tether ball wrapped around a pole. It's almost like I breathe anxiety--I'm always thinking of what could go wrong and how I could fix (or get out of) the situation. But Paul reminds us that we are tempted to be so engrossed in our earthly lives, worrying about everything--that we fail to see the big picture. We fail to see God at work in the world around us. I know that, for me, when I do not make time to relax or address things, my anxiety builds until I either become paralyzed or lackadaisical. I told my adviser about this anxiety, and she told me to think of the things that could go wrong, write them down, and then think of how I could address the issues. This actually was really helpful, and when my mind was cleared of this worry, there was a sense of stillness as my inner dialogue was temporarily silenced. My adviser suggested that in the liminal stage of preparing for my journey, I had essentially already begun my journey; I should, therefore, try to act as if I was already on my pilgrimage. In that case, I should take a deep breath and focus on gratitude for having the opportunity to travel to such an amazing place.
My journey--and yours--has already begun. How are we going to live differently with that knowledge?