Adventures into the Unknown – Look, See, Pray

I didn’t know what to expect yesterday. For as long as I can remember, I have believed my life would change drastically on my 65th birthday. I’d retire… what would that be like?

Well, yesterday was fine. A quiet day, rainy, so we stayed in. The day passed but I didn’t feel any different. Not even older. Two reasons: first, the government changed the rules and I don’t get my state pension until I’m 66. Rotten whatsits… Second reason- I’m already retired, three years ago, on health grounds. That decision and working it out was a real step into the unknown. Adventure? Didn’t feel like one at the time!

In reality, every new day is an adventure into the unknown. None of us can know what the future holds. Guesses, expectations, maybe consequences of previous actions or decisions- or complete surprises!

My photograph comes from the Alaskan coast, not all that far from the port of Skagway where the prospectors landed to reach the Klondike goldfields.

The mountains recede, growing ever taller and more remote. Those who followed the trail faced terrible hardships. Many failed to get through, only a small percentage of the others made it big. People risked everything for a dream of gold. Many paid with their lives.

John Bunyan wrote of a different kind of adventure in “Pilgrim’s Progress.” He described the adventure of faith, facing tests and opportunities on the way to the Celestial City. Bunyan wrote the book in prison, incarcerated for the dreadful crime of leading Christian worship services that were not under the auspices of the State Church. Whose adventure was more worthwhile?

So now I’m 65… and facing adventures into the unknown. Will I chase a dream of gold and luxury? Or follow the path that leads to the City of Gold, as described in the Bible: eternity spent in the Presence of God.

I’m going for the pilgrimage. To be honest, the chances of me getting rich on the pension paid in the U.K. are incredibly small, and I’ve spent my adult life on the pilgrimage already. It makes sense to aim to finish the journey.

I intend to do it with a sense of adventure. I have no idea what the road will be like from here on. There will be good days, sunny days, with bike rides and cream teas. There will be stormy days as age, health and circumstances pose obstacles. I hope to have good companions on the way, but expect to find some who will slow me down or try to change my direction.

The adventure awaits. I may be 65 on the outside, but the inner spirit is still looking forward to enjoying the journey and the scenery. Misty mountains and gentle valleys, forests and streams- I’m on my way, and I know where I’m heading. One of these days the morning will break over the Celestial City: and I hope to hear the words “Welcome, good and faithful servant” from the Lord of Ages. There is no way I want to trade that in for some fool’s gold, to spent my remaining years working hard to gain stuff I can’t take with me!

As an old proverb says, “I do not know what the future holds- but I know who holds the future.”

Let the Adventure Begin! There is One waiting who will make the Unknown unforgettable.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. – Revelation Ch. 22 v1-5

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