|Pen and Ink Reflections||
I love the story of blind Bartimaeus. It speaks at so many different levels. This time it really spoke to me about seeking the kind of faith that is bold and courageous, rather than shy and retiring...
I have a little confession to make. When I was growing up, I was a bit of a board game geek. Indeed I still have a shelf or two at home full of some of my favourite games. For a number of years, it was also an easy way for family members to buy me presents for Christmas and my birthday. One particular game I grew to love however was actually one of the few given to my sister. It was called Careers. Perhaps some of you have heard about it, and even played it? As the name suggests, it is a game about life, options and seeking success. As such it can be great fun and even educational in some respects. Taken too seriously however, it can represent much that is wrong with the way we approach life, especially in our success orientated modern Western world. For it is the kind of game that the rich young man in our Gospel story today was playing in actual life. Jesus however, as we see in our Gospel story, calls us to another way…
What mountains do you know? Mountains are among the most treasured and admired locations on earth - as well as some of the most perilous. I wonder what are some of the mountains that you have heard about or even visited yourself? What are some of the things you love about those mountains?
We've heard about a few mountains here in Australia, some of them local to Toowoomba and to Queensland, and about some mountains far away. Through our links with Nepal we have particular connections to the Himalayas and of course to the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest. Has anyone climbed a mountain that really required the proper gear, ropes and grappling irons and all those things?
Climbing a mountain requires a lot of effort, and preparation and discipline and persistence - which is why climbing a mountain is such a good picture for the spiritual life and often used as such. It is also why some traditional Christian communities are located near the top and on the very edges of mountainsides. Climbing requires patience and faith and provides a sense of perspective. When we physically get up higher we can see more; in the same way the more we advance in our relationship with God the better perspective we have on what really matters in life...