The Journey

If you could see
the journey whole,
you might never
undertake it,
might never dare
the first step
that propels you
from the place
you have known
toward the place
you know not.

Call it
one of the mercies
of the road:
that we see it
only by stages
as it opens
before us,
as it comes into
our keeping,
step by
single step.

There is nothing
for it
but to go,
and by our going
take the vows
the pilgrim takes:

to be faithful to
the next step;
to rely on more
than the map;
to heed the signposts
of intuition and dream;
to follow the star
that only you
will recognize;

to keep an open eye
for the wonders that
attend the path;
to press on
beyond distractions,
beyond fatigue,
beyond what would
tempt you
from the way.

There are vows
that only you
will know:
the secret promises
for your particular path
and the new ones
you will need to make
when the road
is revealed
by turns
you could not
have foreseen.

Keep them, break them,
make them again;
each promise becomes
part of the path, ….

But step out
and you will know
what the wise who traveled
this path before you
knew:
the treasure in this map
is buried
not at journey’s end ….
but in the journey itself,
And in those who travel with you.

The love of God surrounds you on your journey.
And the great cloud of witnesses,
Both those who have gone before 
And those gathered here today
Travel with you always.

Amen.

(adapted from Jan Richardson’s poem by Rev. Erica Lea-Simka)

3 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. The first and the last paragraphs are particularly inspirational for me. If you could see the journey whole you might never undertake it . . . the love of God surrounds you on your journey . . . Thank you for this and the photos.

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  2. Dear Anita, I am not able to log in to Word Press but wanted to respond to you. Thank you for sharing this lovely poem. It reminds me trust the next step instead of getting easily discouraged. God is with us! Katie

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  3. Anita, this poem is lovely. I used it during my women’s retreat this past weekend and they loved it. Forwarded them the email/blog post I received so they’d have your contact. It speaks so deeply to me, the women I work with, and this time. Love you!

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