At school I am part of a student leadership group that is concerned with how we rest, wrestle, and play with God. This year in our meetings we are trying something new. As we rotate through meetings, we are all bringing a devotional. Today is my turn to bring a devotional, and in the spirit of trying something new, I tried to write my own. We are currently planning a vespers service on marking moments, making memories, and finding a point of locatedness. Hiking and climbing for me is one way in which I find a sense of marking moments, and being located.
Cairns: A Journey of Faith
Throughout our life we come across markers, which serve as anchors. Cairns not only help us to know where we are going, but also to remind us where we have come from. Our lives have been described as paths, and climbing a mountain feels like it parallels with our spiritual journeys. Like a mountain, our journey towards God may look different depending on which trail one chooses. They may not have the same terrain, but they all lead to the summit. We choose our path partly on faith, and also by looking at maps. An important thing to consider about maps is that the map is only as good as the mapmaker. The Bible, and the Holy Spirit serve as a map, directed by God, one’s ultimate mapmaker. Inevitably, one must make several decisions on a trail. Left, right, continue, or descend. Not only is it important to follow the cairns that God has laid for us, but also for us to mark where we have come from. Our cairns serve us as anchors; a place we can look back and remember that God has met me here. Whether God has answered prayer, whispered in your ear, or even blessed you with a miracle. Along the way, one may encounter inclement weather. Rain, fog, snow, and fading light can make it difficult to locate the next cairn. On a mountain trail, faith tells us that many have climbed this path before us. When the path seems unclear, our faith in God tells us that there have been many cairns before, there must be one ahead. The summit will not look like the valley, the path will be windy, sometimes terrain will be difficult, and the weather unpredictable. Take a moment to wonder, which summit are you climbing to? Who is your mapmaker? And how will you mark your path, so that when you start to stray, or the next marker is unclear, you can find your way back?