Thursday, July 20, 2017
When I was a boy with my first Bible, I read all those stores about Abraham and his descendants which followed, Moses and the Hebrew people, Joshua and the fall of Jericho, and many more from Elijah to David and beyond. As I read the stories, I often went to the back of that zippered black Bible to the maps to see the location of the places mentioned in the stories. Even then I had a sense that places were important. Now, I understand more clearly that God does not operate in a vacuum, but within the context of specific places. Many of those Biblical characters did things to mark as significant some of the places where they encountered God in unusual and powerful ways.
All of us have places that are important to our spiritual journey. Maybe there is no set of maps to guide us, but then, none are needed. We know the names of those places and where they are located in the journey of faith that we call ours. Some of those places may have already been designated as holy by the community of faith, but many others have been noted as holy and special because of the moment we had with God in them. They are so marked not in a book of holy places, but in the book of spiritual memories we carry in our heart.
It is, of course, a list of places that is incomplete. Each year of our life more places are likely being added to that list of memories which remind of us powerful moments with God. Perhaps, we have some physical token taken from a place in the past to remind us. Maybe it is a rock, or a seashell, or a t-shirt. In most cases nothing is really needed to bring to mind a place where a meaningful encounter with God took place. Think about those places. Begin to write them down on a piece of paper and slip into that copy of the Word kept so close. Spend some time remembering. Spent some time being thankful.