By Marilyn Travis
I’ve been contemplating the idea of my life long spiritual journey. I used to picture a linear path, from birth to death, growing in Christ as I get older, and hopefully growing in grace and knowledge as well.
Lately, though, that image in my mind has changed. I realize, of course, that my life on this earth still begins with my birth and ends with my death. My spiritual journey is so much more complex than that linear vision. I began to picture a wide, winding path, with hills and valleys, lush vegetation and barren expanse – much more indicative of real life and real growth. Then I began to imagine the path itself. The base I believe is faith. My faith in Christ is the foundation of my life. Yet what makes my life different from every other life? What makes my journey unique to me?
Imagine a path made of a mosaic of tiles. Each tile an integral piece of the path, a stepping-stone creating a pattern. Each tile represents a person, a relationship, a place, an experience, or a lesson. Some tiles may be large and contain several small pieces within themselves. Others are a tiny fragment of the whole.
The inspiration for this contemplation came from a piece I wrote in 2002 about my relationship with my brother Robert. For those of you who may not know him, my parents adopted him when he was seven months old. He is three years older than I am and has developmental disabilities.
I titled it “Mosaic.”
My life is a mosaic of contrasts.
I am the little sister, yet the big sister.
To my brother I’m also a parent.
I must guide yet appear to be guided.
I am a disciplinarian and a friend.
I am an advocate, yet I’m reluctant to get involved.
I feel great love weighed by great responsibility.
I long to be free,
yet I would not trade my brother for any other.
I didn’t choose to be his sister;
the choice was made for me.
Sometimes I’m embarrassed by him
or feel he’s a burden,
but truly he is a blessing.
I have been entrusted with the privilege
of caring for a special child of God,
and God creates a perfect pattern,
placing these contrasting shards
and fusing them together
into a beautiful mosaic.
It is comforting to know that God loves me and knows everything about me. He knows every detail, every thought, and He has a grand design for my life. If I allow Him to, He will create a lovely path for me to follow. He can expertly place each “tile.”
Psalm 139: 1-14, 23-24
Oh Lord, you have searched me
and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in behind and before;
You have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there Your hand will guide me;
Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to You;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.
For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful.
I know that full well.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
I encourage you to reflect upon your own journey, and the mosaic that creates your path. I also encourage you to do an internet search of “mosaic pathways.” They are beautiful!
Don’t forget to thank the Lord for each tile piece in your life’s journey.
Remember Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.