When I go on a trip, I basically know where I'm going, how I'll get there and what I'll do. That's generally true whether the trip is to a neighboring city for a meeting, or to another country for personal enjoyment or mission work. There may be changes in the itinerary, or surprises along the way, but usually when I start out I pretty well know where I'll end up.
But a journey is different. With a journey, I kinda know where I hope to end up, but even that is unsure. And I'm even less sure the route I'll be following. About all I know is that it's time to move forward and that a certain path seems right for the present. There will be new pathways and choices in the path that no one can predict as the journey develops. And the outcome? Who knows. That's the reason you go on a journey in the first place, isn't it? - to discover the outcome.
Life is full of trips and journeys. Trips get us to places and back. Journeys take us to new places altogether. Journeys tend to show up at career time, in relationships, and in faith. Some people tend to prefer one over the other, so if you start out on a journey, don't pick a trip junkie for a roomie.
It's difficult when you have someone who wants trip information for a journey experience. And it's scary when someone confidently gives you trip information for a journey experience!
What's even more confusing is that you can be on many journeys at one time. For instance, we've started a journey with Mosaic worship - don't know where that will take us. The whole Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry is a journey. At our Council on Ministries meeting last night we discussed a general proposal for the future of Trinity that emphasizes children's ministries. We approved the initiative originating from the Capital Campaign Study Committee, but basically have no idea where the journey will take us. And interwoven in these journeys are the personal ones of discovery, trust and love.
One quality that enables all such journeys is simply an openness to the future. Maybe there are better words, but "openness" works for me. Step forward, risk self and investment, walk in faith - open to what will unfold in the journey. Don't shut off the journey just because you can't see the resources needed. Don't postpone the first step because the journey appears too daunting. Who knows what God will do? If the Bible has anything to say to us about this, it is that God will provide the 'manna' for each day. And just that experience can make the journey worthwhile.