17th June

On The Move For God

Some wandered in trackless wastes, finding no way to a city to stay in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and the Lord delivered them from their distress, and led them by a straight way. Psalm 106:4-7

Therefore let us live by this principle, that we live as travellers on the road, as pilgrims, as guests of the world … singing with grace and power ‘When shall I come and appear before the face of my God?’

Many prayers for journeys were collected in the nineteenth century by Alexander Carmichael, some of which went back to the times when Celtic Christians such as Brendan travelled the seas in coracles. When he wrote there were still many small prayer places where men went to pray before and after their voyages. This spirituality continues in the different circumstances of modern life. It is reflected, for example, in this prayer, written and displayed in an airport chapel:

Relaxed, warm-welcomed,
Full of ease, embraced and nourished.
Newly arrived from far away, yet home.
The words that sped me on my way
Still echo in this foreign place.
The hands that held me there
Now greet me here
And I am home
With that same God who knew and loved me then.
This end of journey too is but a staging post
On another journey
From this on to another home.

May Father aid me
May Son aid me
May Spirit aid me
On sea and land
In the shielding of the City everlasting
Carmina Gadelica