Where are you headed?


First run out for about 10 months. A combination of laziness, pattern of life changes, and injury has meant no running.

Went out just to do a gentle 2 miler but felt ok, so I carried on for a 3.5 mile loop.

We have moved to a new house and a new area, so it was a first try at establishing a regular route.

Having had a look at Google maps before leaving I had an idea of the route. I went down a road to the next village, then took a left. There was a lake on the right, after which it looked like I could pick up the disused railway line. This then connected to a path leading home.

The original goal to go to the next village and back felt too short a ru8n by the time I got there. So I carried on to do the loop run.

I passed the lake and then in my mind I was looking for a canal. Somehow the canal – which is further away got lodged in my mind as the next way marker.

Fortunately when I passed the disused railway line, my brain kicked in and I realised that was where I should have been headed.

I made it home in around 35 minutes, which is not bad for a first run out.

It started a thought process though.

Why had I got my goal mixed up?

As a general life issue it is really important to know where you are headed, and that where you are headed is the right place to go.

How do we work that out?

The process is called spiritual discernment, noticing where God is inviting you to join Him.

It is based on the concept that God is fundamentally involved in His world;

“The earth is the LORD’s,

and everything in it, the world,

and all who live in it.”

Psalm 24:1, NIV

And that He is at work doing stuff. Jesus said,

“My Father is always working”

John 5:17, NIV

Perhaps Elizabeth Barret BROWNING expressed it most eloquently,

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes”

Elizabeth Barret BROWNING, ‘Aurora Leigh’

For our lives to have meaning that survives beyond our death, we need to be getting involved in God’s work, joining Him in His activity.

This means living our lives attentive to where God might be at work, living as a

Detective of Divinity.

(from ‘The Preaching Life’, Barbara Brown TAYLOR)

One metaphor I have used with groups is to talk about having your spiritual antenna up and scanning for God’s Spirit at work around you.

As I ended my run I was delighted to see the spire of St Andrew’s Church, which is next to my home.

Seeing the spire confirmed I was heading in the right direction.

Which is a reminder that if you ever need a community to help you learn to discern the activity of God around you, it is the community under the spire that should be best placed to aid you.

Be assured that they won’t be perfect people, or have everything sussed. They are as likely to be as screwed up as you are!

Yet they will in some way be trying to correctly orient their lives to God, and that is a great thing.

Who knows, maybe you are exactly the kind of person THEY need to help them grow in their discernment ability?

What is your absence robbing them of?

Just a thought.