Monday, October 20, 2008
When I was in college I worked full time during the day and took classes at night. I went to Antioch and work/study was the core of their philosophy. My first year I worked for a publishing company, the second year at a day care and the final year, at the writers' council. Some of my most vivid memories are from the year I worked in the daycare. It was also the year that we got married, 1975. The daycare had only two and three-year-olds and so reading out loud to them was an important activity. One of their favorite books was a Dr. Seuss called, "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now". They would wait until the reader got to the end of the section and along with the reader shout out at the top of their lungs, "Marvin K. Mooney will you please go now!" Marvin was advised in the book to take a variety of different exit strategies including taking a boat or a plane and other odd conveyance devices. My favorite was the suggestion to "stamp yourself and go by mail." We laughed all together and loved this book together. When I had children of my own, I read it to them, shouting out the all important, "Marvin K. Mooney will you please go now!" Setting out on a journey is always hard whether its in uncharted water or to familiar grounds. There is still preparation of body and soul to be done.
"Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem." Luke 9:51
When the disciples followed Jesus towards Jerusalem, they could not have known how challenging their next days would be. It would be their final journey with him in the flesh. And he warned them of the difficulty, and told them of the cost. And he told them that he would be with them always. None of them really heard the truth of the experience until much later, I believe. And so too with us, we set out on simple journeys that change our lives forever. When we choose to follow Jesus, we never know what challenges to heart and mind are before us. But still we must go. Staying back in the warm and familiar only elongates the leaving and raises the pain level for everyone. Only by going out and facing our fears can we truly experience God's love and protection going with us.
So, today I will say to myself, "Carol Joy Gallagher, will you please go now!" If I look back and wonder, or hang on too long to what is passed, I might just miss the blessings before me. Today, I want to be open to the blessings before me. May we all take the first steps on our journey to following Jesus, knowing that the surrounding care and protection of God is so much more sure than any insurance policy we can buy. God goes with us, so let's go.