Ansley Jottings July 22

One of the things that made lockdown so hard was the necessity to restrict travel that meant visits to family and friends had to be postponed.   I have family members in other areas of England, in Scotland, France, Germany and New Zealand, so meeting up can take some arranging and happens infrequently.  My brother in England has four children and eight grand children.  Most of his family were able to meet recently for the first time since lockdowns began.   The gathering broke up the day before the rail strikes and fortunately nobody was travelling by air.  I realise how lucky they were that nobody was delayed or prevented from coming or returning home on time.

Many people have not been so fortunate recently with chaos at airports and cancelled ferries or rail strikes to upset their plans, often at the last minute.  I suppose if we think back over the years we can all remember times when planned journeys were delayed, postponed or cancelled for various reasons.  It can take patience, determination and persistence to adapt and change plans when needed.

Mostly our journeys have a purpose and a set destination.  Recently many people from the Ukraine and elsewhere have set out on journeys with no certainty about their destination or their means of travel.  It is hard to imagine what that must be like.

We read of many journeys in the Bible –Joseph’s brothers travelling to Egypt to seek food during a famine, the Israelites escaping from Egypt through the desert, the Magi travelling to Bethlehem to bring gifts to the baby and Jesus’ journeys by boat and on foot with his disciples.  You can probably think of many more.

As you may have guessed, these jottings on journeys have come to mind because of the theme of this year’s Flower Festival.

As well as any physical journey we may make, each of us is also on a spiritual journey, a quest to discover such things as -What is life all about?  Why are we here?  Where are we going?

Christians turn to the Bible as a travel guide for their spiritual journeying. In it they can find the story of man’s developing understanding of God and his growing relationship with God.  May your physical travels and your faith journey go smoothly in the month ahead.                       D. K.