jan richardson, lent, paths, retreats



You were built for this,
the ancient path
inscribed upon your bones,
the persistent pattern
echoing in your heartbeat.
~Jan Richardson

I’m leading a retreat this weekend I’ve titled Crossing Paths with Jesus. I’ve been thinking a lot about paths lately. What path am I on? What paths have I been on? What paths are in my future?

Even though I’m surrounded by supportive, loving people in my life, I’m the only one on this path. I’m the only who has been and ever will be on this path. Yesterday as I was walking Denali on our usual, familiar morning path, I thought about how even my husband and are on different paths. Sure, our paths are close to each other and sometimes overlap. However, there are parts of his path I’ve never walked – there are places he’s been and people he’s met that I will probably never be or meet. There are places I’ve been and people I’ve met that he will probably never be or meet.

When I think of it this way, the path can be very lonely. I’m the only one with my exact thoughts and experiences and choices. I’m on this path alone. But, I’m not.

We’re reading a lot of the Psalms this weekend. So far I’ve read and heard portions of Psalm 139 twice. God is with me. God knows where I am. God understands my thoughts. God will never abandon me. I am not alone on this path. I will never be alone.

Paths are interesting. They curve and double back and straighten out. They take unexpected twists always, in some way, leading us forward to something new.

I was built for this path. This ancient and unknown path. This future and familiar path. It’s been with me all along. Some days the path feels so familiar, so “home.” Other days I feel like I’m walking in a dark room with my hands out in front of me trying to find the way.

Remember. You were built for this.

Remember. You are not alone.




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