This dislogue came to me very much with my friends Ceryn, Ed, Jess, Drew and Paul in mind as they prepare to take a year out in discipleship on Relay. Keep your focus on him guys; let him guide your steps (Prov3v5-6).
'I stood at the foot of the path. I looked back, knowing I'd got this far, and looked forward. But what WAS coming next? I mean, I knew what was coming up but I just felt so unprepared! How would I pay for that, or where would I stay, or how could I look after myself. Just then, as my mind raced with all those things, I tripped. He stopped with me though, taking my hand as I fell. 'But it's such a BIG step!' I said, with apprehension in my voice. 'I mean, how WILL I do, or pay, or work, or... or...' He waited patiently while I stuttered, struggling to get the words out. 'Did I ever say that this path would be easy, my precious one?' 'Well, no, but there just seems so MUCH of it! I mean, there's the work and the money and... and...' He sat down and moved me next to him. 'When have you been without what you've needed?' I pondered this for a moment. Before I could even form a reply he said 'when have you been without what you're REALLY needed?' I looked at my shoes, scuffing them on the road. I looked up. 'What's that?', I replied. He smiled; that same smile he holds for no time in particular, and every time he sees it. It being that spark of recognition as the truth sinks in once more that what I've always needed, and have had when I've really need it, has been him. The stark truth of this, of him and his faithfulness, sunk in afresh, and I let it wash over me. I glanced up the road again. 'You knew I'd do this, didn't you?' 'Of course', it was all I needed to hear. He knew this'd happen, and yet kept walking with me. I'd never understand that about him... 'and I knew you'd need to hear this,' he continued, 'you always do!' 'Doesn't mean I love you any less though; I can't' It suddenly occurred to me, 'but how did you know?' He turned to me, and said 'because I know you. You are mine. And neither my love, nor my faithfulness, nor my desire to see you grow in me and follow where I guide you, will ever change. THAT is my love for you.' I looked back up the path, and saw for the first time in a while that at the end of it stood a magnificent emerald gate. And beyond that, a sight that I couldn't put into words - it was beyond my imagination. I jumped to my feet, to find him there, beckoning me on with him. 'come with me,' he said, 'trust me with what's ahead.' I looked down, saw his feet standing square next to mine. I tightened my grip on his hand, noticed that patient smile of his; and took that step. '