Linda, one of our members, shares the perspective she has gained as she has journeyed along the Abbey Way...
We joined another church in 2004, and there we were attracted to the faith and joy in a woman who had a dream of a new kind of church. When Jan left that chruch to follow where God was calling, she invited others along. We knew we were heading on another journey of a different kind. There were fewer signposts here; this “new monasticism” was completely foreign territory to two ex-YWAMmers who had been attending fundamentalist churches, knew nothing of St. Benedict, and one of whom was distrustful of anything that even smelled like Catholicism. But there was something new and fresh about Abbey Way that kept pulling us in. God had plowed the field well enough for us both to not fear a new journey together, and he has not disappointed. It has been new and we have been changed in unexpected ways.
This week I took a bike ride. I chose a course that I normally ride with Ken, a complicated path around Rice Lake and I-94 in Maple Grove. Ken knows which turns to take and which ones not to take and so normally I just follow him, but this day I decided to try it and see if I could find my way around. About half way through I came to a choice – right or left – and neither way was familiar. I chose the one that stuck closest to Rice Lake, and found myself surrounded by unfamiliar ground. I thought, "I can still do this. Heck, I go to Abbey Way! I’m not afraid of unfamiliar ground." I figured as long as I was in the general area (I could still see Rice Lake and still hear the traffic on I-94) I couldn’t be too far off. I wound through new neighborhoods and pathways, still within earshot of my bearings, until I started to see familiar sights and then friendly landmarks leading me back home. The bike ride was longer than I expected, but I made it.
We’ve all taken rides on unfamiliar pathways, some deliberately and some we’ve been dragged into. When I got into trouble at college, when my mother died, when I left home to find my own way, when we left friends and jobs and moved to Atlanta, when we left friends and jobs again (even a child) and moved to Minnesota – all have been forks in the road leading us to the unfamiliar. But I keep checking my Bearings and am assured this is the right road, and now and then I see friendly Landmarks assuring me I’m on my way home. Keep going, fellow travelers.
In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
(from Natalie Sleeth – Hymn of Promise)