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He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me. (Psalm 23.2-4)
People of all religions and none look for guidance. I don’t know who said it, but for those who pray, it’s a good saying: ‘Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you’re not willing to move your feet.’
Pilgrimage has started to become more popular over recent years and appeals to a much wider group of people than might sometimes be imagined.
A recent TV series followed seven people on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. They were obviously chosen for their different attitudes to life and faith. Over the couple of weeks they travelled together they both supported and irritated each other.
Towards the end of the third and last episode one of them mentioned having asked the others if they would continue if the funding was pulled and the cameras were switched off. They apparently all agreed that having gone through it that far, they would have carried on. They had grown closer than they had imagined they would and the journey had become more than a TV project.
There is an impulse in all of us towards community. Widening our reading and viewing habits to understand people different from ourselves is crucial. Having real conversations is even better.
Walking away if need be but hopefully walking forward together, not agreeing about everything but seeing the human in the other – children of God, Jock Tamson’s bairns, all fellow humans.
However we understand life, we need to find ways to share the world and its resources together.
Rev Liz Gibson