Fi and Rhona have done a brilliant job in tracking down maps and route planners both in paper form and as Apps. Wow, the technology one can use just to keep yourself on the right footpath or to work out one’s exact mileage. GPS!!! Amazing and very useful. All this information will be updated onto this Blog as the Pilgrimage unfolds.
I have been thinking about how any of us find our way. When driving, I never use TomTom or some such. I really love maps and planning my journey accordingly. Having an inanimate object shouting directions at me in a European language of my choice really does not enhance my driving.
One of my favourite chants, and one included in the annual Amnesty International Cathedral service, is this one from Iona:
Kindle a flame to lighten the dark and take all fear away.
Individualism may run to the core of our way of life but the fear of losing our way appears equally strong within contemporary culture. We live in a time of uncertainty and fragility, ever more so since the Crash of 2007-8 and the darkening clouds of international crises. We fear so much – the loss of financial security; losing our home or car or job, let alone the sense that we are out of fashion, behind the times or merely irrelevant to what we see around us. These are genuine concerns. Many of our young people are frightened about what lies ahead of them as job markets and skill-sets change with rapidity, let alone house prices or basic costs of living.
What then do we hang on to: what transforms our fears?
The Glory of God. For our moments of darkness, be they short seconds or what seem an eternity, there is a light that leads us to safety and security. The King James Bible puts it this way:
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4: 6
The love of God knows no limits, no conditions and certainly has no fee. A love so massive that its cosmic rays lighten all hearts.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
So, as we contemplate our Pilgrimage, search out maps and Apps I think we can rest assured that we will never, in reality, lose our way. Just as in every other aspect of our lives we, as the children, pilgrims, of Light will be surrounded by His love and our feet guided through the miles that lay ahead of us. This I think will be my personal prayer for the Pilgrimage.
Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me,
Be thou a smooth path below me,
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me,
Today, tonight and forever.