Trail - Monday Musing, March 29, 2021
Trail. A beaten, marked, or established path. We journey many trails in life. Some are filled with twists, turns, and potholes. Others are straight, smooth, and comforting. I biked the Cape Cod Rail Trail the other day, which was only the second time I have been out this year. It was good to get outside and enjoy the lovely spring weather, having been confined to the indoor spin bike this winter. I have biked this trail countless times over the years. Perhaps you have as well? It is an easy ride, paved, flat, and wide. There are no obstacles to prevent passage. Oh, one must navigate other bikers, walkers, runners, the occasional dog with their owner, and watch for cross traffic.
As I encountered people on the trail, there would be casual acknowledgement, a slight wave, or a nod. I can’t say I recognized anyone, but with sunglasses, face masks, and jackets, I could have passed my own mother and not recognized her! I was struck by the various types of travelers on the trail. The professional biker on a quest. The family out for a stroll. The gawker, soaking in the sun and scenery. Most people, dare I call them pilgrims, were by themselves. Some were in pairs or part of a family unit. I consider myself an amateur biker, happy to follow the familiar path, hoping to see something new, but content with the experience of the ride. We were all experiencing the trail in our own way; each of us were there for our own reasons, traveling different distances, and going different speeds.
As a community of faith, we have been navigating a familiar 40-day Lenten trail. On the Sunday before Lent, we were with Jesus on the mountain at the Transfiguration. We followed the pilgrimage trail through the imposition of ashes, the facing of temptation, cleansing of the temple, hearing Jesus tell stories along the way. And yesterday we descended the Palm Sunday trail with Jesus on the last leg of his journey to Jerusalem. Although we have been on this trail collectively, it has also been an individual effort. Some have navigated this well-worn path countless times, others are slow to gawk and experience the moment. We know where this Jesus trail will take us – betrayal, desertion, crucifixion, and on the other side, resurrection!
You never know what you might encounter when you are out on the trail – provided you are alert enough to notice. I pray that you have noticed God’s presence with you on your Lenten trail this year, and that you have experienced a rich reawakening of your faith. I am thankful to have been a fellow pilgrim with you on this journey. Happy trails! See you in church.