Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you." - Genesis 12:1
It was a day just like this in early spring, when I told a new spiritual director my secret. It seemed like such a fatal flaw for a ministry student that I could hardly speak it aloud.
"Half the time," I whispered, "I don't even believe in God."
She gave an impatient, little snort. "You're standing with one foot on the dock and one foot in the boat. Just get in the boat, Jennifer!"
Before, caring teachers and pastors with the very best intentions had painted a picture of faith as a meandering journey, twisting and detouring. If you don't feel God with you, they implied, just keep moving. It doesn't matter that much, and wherever you are headed is bound to be interesting.
But as my spiritual director and I continued our conversation that spring day, I realized I hadn't been on a journey after all. I had been stuck on the dock, one foot in and one foot out, knowing that I was called away from all that was familiar and safe, but afraid to get in the boat.
"Just get in the boat," she said. "God will show you the way." So I did. And She did.
YHWH, we are on a journey and you are with us. Show us the new country, the landscape of our transformed hearts, which you have prepared for us. Amen.
Jennifer Brownell is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.