Up to us

How does the theme on a journey resonate with you personally? It’s a useful umbrella for all sorts of things, like “Journey through Lent”, for example.

Here’s one of my “on a journey” memories:

Some years ago now I had the opportunity to write a song for a CD project aimed at outdoor types. Not being much of an outdoor type myself, I was very grateful when a fellow commuter – a thoughtful Dutch man who regularly goes on walking holidays – had a lot to say on the subject.

“Do you mind if I take notes?” I asked.

In the 10-minute train ride from Utrecht Central to Houten on my way to work I gathered enough quality material to seed a whole song.

The CD project fizzled out, but the song has become a standard in the Two Doors Down repertoire, with me on guitar and vocals and Margriet on backing vocals and melodica.

Here’s a video of us performing “Up to us” in a noisy cafe in Dordrecht at our EP release in 2014:


Lyrics

1. Out on the trail – part of the landscape
Sensible shoes and good company
The swish, swish of our bodies in motion
I’m lost for words, lost in reverie.

We’ve got all we need to make a memory
Back to basics, minimum fuss
We know where we are
and kind of where we’re going
The rest is up to us (x2)

2. I do admit that nothing much happens
And I forget what we talked about
We cook, eat, sleep and get on with living
I’m walking on air, I’m on walkabout.

Chorus

3. Reading the map we can see the future
Making our way one step at a time
I’m rich, richer than I ever imagined
All I survey, in a way, is mine.

Chorus

We’re part of the elements – the cold, the heat
I’m thankful for every sensation – even sore feet.

Chorus

Blessing

Lord,
Make me a blessing.
Those that I meet
Make me a blessing.
As I walk down the street
Make me a blessing.
This day, even this hour
Make me a blessing.
It lies in your power
Make me a blessing.
At work and at home
Make me a blessing.
Wherever I roam
Make me a blessing.
That people may see
I am a blessing,
For you are with me.

from The Open Gate: Celtic Prayers for Growing Spiritually
by David Adam, p. 108

To Emmaus and back

For the full story, read Luke 24:13-49.

Here is a summary, with some prayer prompts.

Two of Jesus’ disciples are headed for Emmaus, about 2 hours walking distance from Jerusalem. As they walk down this familiar stretch of road their conversation is coloured by a flood of mixed emotions. On the one hand they are reeling from the traumatic events in Jerusalem when their beloved Lord and Master was arrested and killed, and on the other hand there’s the startling testimony of some of their female friends who claim they saw “a vision of angels, who said Jesus was alive” (Luke 24:23).

Pray for vital relationships in your life to share the highs and lows with.

Soon they too would have a startling testimony to share, thanks to a roadside encounter with the risen Lord, who gently but firmly puts them in the picture: “‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)

Pray for time and motivation to study the Scriptures, to get God’s perspective and to make it your own.

At this point, the disciples are completely unaware they are in conversation with Jesus, but their hearts are warmed by his words, and they invite him to stay the night, hungry for more. Later, at table, in the breaking of the bread, they realize they have been in the presence of Jesus, risen from the dead. They can’t wait to tell the others, and head straight back to Jerusalem, where there is a further treat in store for them: They get to see the Risen Lord again when he appears to the whole assembly.

Pray that your personal encounters with Jesus will be a blessing to the wider community.

Did you know?

The hymn, Abide with me, alludes to Luke 24:29: “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.”

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

by Henry Francis Lyte

Emmaus Blessing

Already a blessing
in the walking

already a blessing
on the road

already a blessing
drawing near

already a blessing
in the listening

already a blessing
in the burning hearts

already a blessing
in the almost evening

already a blessing
in the staying

already a blessing
at the table

already a blessing
in the bread

already a blessing
in the breaking

already a blessing
finally known

already a blessing
give us eyes

already a blessing
let us see.

—Jan Richardson
from paintedprayerbook.com


See also walk, run, soar, especially the Millican’s Meaningful Journeys video (walk).