We have numerous liquidambar trees in our neighborhood. They grow quite tall, and the leaves turn color in the fall. As I walked yesterday, I realized that almost all the leaves had turned brown. It was just a week or so ago when I was admiring patterns and colors of the beautiful leaves that had fallen to the ground. They are now beginning to crumble and decay. The only leaves that had any color were on the ivy growing along the freeway overpass.
In the book, Fully Alive, John Main writes that we are pilgrims, and that our challenge is "learning to dispossess ourselves so that we can continue on the pilgrimage unencumbered." Pilgrims are more than just wanderers. The pilgrim journey is about moving deeper into the awareness of God. As I ponder this, Jesus' statement that he was "the way," begins to make more sense. It is something akin to saying, "God is known in our living and our dying. God can never be possessed, but experienced." Jesus spent much of the last three years of his ministry on the road. No doubt as he walked he was reminded that life is not static, but ever changing. Yesterday, the leaves told me this. We can hold on just so long, but eventually we must let go. However, what keeps this from being dreary news is that we cannot fall "out of God." We are always changing, but we are also always held.
Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.'