Come into the garden - 18 January 2021
By Hennie Symington
Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the LORD, and they study it day and night. They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do. But evil people are not like this at all; they are like straw that the wind blows away. Sinners will be condemned by God and kept apart from God's own people. The righteous are guided and protected by the LORD, but the evil are on the way to their doom.
Today as you gird yourself once again for the coming year, you are invited to join me on a different kind of journey – not one of your overseas journeys or a bus tour to the seaside – but a journey that will take you to the furthest regions of the soul where all your secret longings and desires have gathered like dust in the attic. You don’t have to go anywhere; all you need to undertake this journey is to find yourself a quiet place while keeping perfectly still.
It is a journey to the deepest, most remote places of your heart and soul which have become hardened to the hardship of others. It is a walk through barren deserts where you’ve left behind the truth as excess baggage. It is an expedition to the deepest jungles of your soul where belief has been strangled by the lush undergrowth which keeps you from grasping the simplicity of God’s message. Ultimately it is a journey to remote islands where you have lost the way to your own heart.
God invites you at the very beginning of the new year to take a route less travelled, and perhaps to revisit the places of the heart where you were the closest to your creator. Or even those places where you left your faith by the wayside choosing to make your way through rocky patches and the up hills on you own.
The good news is that you were never alone. Your companion who will “neither slumber nor sleep”, was right there beside you, guiding you on your way. May you rediscover anew the true joy of journeying with God.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, you are inviting me to journey with you. Set my feet on the path of righteousness so that I can follow you. Prepare my hands to do deeds of mercy so that I can serve you with gladness. Amen