Journeying on the Way

In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes a number of “I am” statements, which point to very important facets of his identity.  One of these statements is “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”.

Jesus’ identity as the Way has great significance for those of us desiring to embrace a process of spiritual formation.  Most importantly, it connotes that we are to embark on a journey, but not any kind of a journey but one that involves embracing a particular path – a path or Way that leads to life, truth, and abundance; a path that distinguishes its sojourners from others around them.  That Way is Jesus.

While embracing this Way entails believing in Jesus, the Christian life doesn’t end with belief, but begins with it.  Embracing Jesus propels us into a holistic Way of viewing the world and a Way of living in the world.  It in fact involves embracing the Way of the Cross, which is a life of love, sacrifice, service, compassion, and reconciliation.  It is a life of resting in God in the midst of busyness, devoting oneself to God and each other, living into one’s unique vocations and callings, and seeking renewal, both personally and in the world at large.

Fully embracing this Way of living and viewing the world, however, takes time. Thus, we find that the life of faith is not a static condition but a dynamic life-long journey, where our experiences of faith and prayer, our sense of call and desire that God lays on our hearts, and our ways of finding intimacy with God vary over our lifetime.

Wherever we might be on the journey at this time, it is good to step back for a moment and ascertain where we might be.  We will find that some of us are simply intrigued by the Way but haven’t put our trust and faith in Jesus.  Others of us are new believers and are ready to joyfully embark on the Way.  Still others of us have been traveling on this Way for a long time, but even among us old timers, we are experiencing the journey differently.  Some of us are traveling to new heights while others are feeling stuck.  Some of us are experiencing the abundant life that God has promised us while others are experiencing the brokenness of this world.  Some of us are feeling God’s presence while others are experiencing only God’s hiddenness.  Some of us are experiencing a deepening faith while others are questioning and doubting.  That is just the nature of the journey.

No matter where we are on this Way, we can be assured that God is with us.  As we journey along, we can expect unique blessings along with unique challenges at each stage.  We can expect that that the nature of the journey will change over time, based on our unique wiring, gifts, and call at that time; previous experiences of faith; and our season of life and life circumstances.  And no matter where we find ourselves on this Way, we can expect that none of us will ever quite “arrive” in this lifetime.  We are always on a journey towards deeper intimacy with God and greater growth into Christ-likeness.

This journey is a beautiful Way.  It is in fact the way to Life, and I invite you to journey along with me as we learn to love, follow, and abide in Jesus together.  – Kristen+

Here is good prayer for the journey, reminding us of Christ’s presence with us along the journey and a reminding us of how Christ abides in us.  

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Christ be with me, 
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort 
and restore me.

Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of 
friend and stranger.

Page Written by Kristen Yates

Read Further:  Abiding in the Vine

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