Into the Woods

24 June 2007
CLF GA Worship Service
Mr. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson & Mr. Barb Greve

Imagine we are journeying out into the woods…

These are the things you might carry:

A compass. Something true and certain to point to in times of uncertainty. A core belief or value you know you can plot a course from.

A map. A description of your world, if not your route through it. A story by which you make sense of what is.

A walking stick. A source of strength and solidity to help carry you over uneven ground. A love that supports you, a challenge that calls you forth, an anger that drives you on.

A tent. A place of rest and a shelter against the tempests of time. The sense of self you may retreat to and say, “If nothing else, I have this.”

A knife. A tool to cut what binds and give a greater purpose to shape. The uses of an open, questioning mind.

A flashlight. A radiance by which to see, and to illuminate the way for others. The potential of your soul.

Strong shoes, long pants, and warm clothing for the journey. Protection for what is precious in you. Acknowledgement of our own vulnerabilities.

Binoculars. A means to sense farther and more clearly than you could have without help. The wisdom of teachers, strangers and friends.

First Aid kit. Admitting that things don’t always go as planned. Recognition that we can take some of our tools along the journey with us.

Take each of these with you, and let go of what you cannot carry. You may visit it instead, from time to time, but so long as you hold it, you cannot depart.

And if you cannot bring yourself to leave, you will never come to know the trees. The forest path has lessons to teach you: soft, merciful places for you to sleep, and sharp thistle, too, to instruct you with its sting. In the shadows of its branches, your own light may shine more clearly and deliberately. If you remain only in the short grass, the tools and treasures you have gathered will never be tested by use. Enter the arch of the welcoming wood, and let the self you bring to it be changed by the journey.

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