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By Sr Alicia Alambra FMM
Come risk the sacred journey, enter now uncharted place.
Risk the sacred journey inward to the ocean deep and dark.
Step by step we make our way through
Desert plains and mountains steep.
Step by step God’s Spirit leads us . . .
Driving around is like taking the given daily choices of everyday life and choosing the right direction so as to arrive at our destination. What is important are the four directions of North, South, East and West, so I always figure out these directions in order to find my way easily.
One day I drove on my own to the airport to learn how to easily bring Sisters there for their flights. I had driven once already with a ‘back seat driver’ as guide. This time I drove alone and found myself on the eastbound of the westbound. I pulled over to the shoulder of the road and looked once more at the signs. I had made a mistake. I couldn’t make a U-turn as the road was one-way. So I took the risk of going on ahead and turning another way but was sure I would be lost. I found I was on a highway. The only way to get to my destination or go home safely was to call for a rescue unit or to get on a side-road and come out of the small roads and figure out my route with maps and use the GPS (Global Positioning System).
That experience was a shock for me and propelled me to use imaginations to find my way. After that sad event, it made me more of a risk taker because in the end I found the right technique. Guided by maps, good imagination of direction, with the GPS as companion, and humbly asking several people, God showed me the way.
Another time I used the GPS but wasn’t yet familiar with its capabilities. So I started doubting, and believed more in my own ability. It takes patience and trust, how to use the GPS, because there are plenty of roads and here you are figuring out which of the roads the GPS will tell you to track, because you are driving fast. Better take a companion to help you if the way is so ambiguous.
The GPS is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all kinds of weather, everywhere. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible by anyone with a GPS receiver. The GPS program provides critical capabilities to military, civil and commercial users around the world. In addition, the GPS is the backbone of the modernization of global road and air traffic systems
This is the machine we are using to help when traveling because there are many winding roads and highways where drivers can be understandably confounded and lost. It can be heartbreaking to drive to unfamiliar places, as I have found, having lived and traveled in the states of New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Indiana, Illinois, Nevada and in Washington DC. We can also try alternative routes and the GPS will recalculate your journey, as it will do if you take a wrong road by mistake. An incredible road companion!
In life, we need good friends and spiritual directors, good books and the Word of God, the Bible, to lead us. Sometimes, we encounter doubts, but then God sends rescuers. Here is reflection of a friend finding her way in life, where all may be new - place, culture, people, climate . . .
Leaving everyone you know, moving to another country, and having to start everything from scratch again requires a lot of effort. Even though I have travelled quite a bit, it is still challenging. The change of climate contributes to the whole adventure. In the winter, everything requires more time – I never needed to scrape a thin layer of ice from a car windshield before. There were many times I had no idea what I was doing here and why I was putting myself through all this.
My confidence as a person continues to grow, as I tackle challenges one by one. I‘ve learned to be more authentic. Its diversity is what makes the world an interesting and beautiful place to live in.
I am grateful for the warm friends who remind me to ‘keep breathing’ and to just take it one day at a time. I’m glad that I have kept on going and learned to befriend the changes, instead of trying to control them, allowing the changes to happen and unfold, and allowing them to mature in their own time. I will eventually see why the changes have been necessary for and what blessings are in store. I realize that once I am able to see beyond my worries, I am able to see the beauty that surrounds me.
God has shown us to understand
that there is more growth and more blessings
disguised in the various forms of adventures that are unfolding on our way,
beyond our fears, worries, annoyances and discomforts.