29th February

The Journey

The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 1 Kings 19:7

We all take journeys at times, whether short or long. Elijah took a difficult journey that required the direct help of God.

The writings of Carmina Gadelica is a compendium of miscellaneous lore gathered in the Gaelic-speaking regions of Scotland between 1860 and 1909. Early volumes were recorded and reworked by Alexander Carmichael (1832–1912).

Many people Alexander spoke to about prayers and blessings repeated sayings handed down through many generations. Whoever said a journey prayer wanted not only protection from God, but a desire to keep their minds focused on Him. Some were repeated as the journey progressed. This was part of the Celtic spirit affirming the presence and power of God in everything they did.

It also reaffirmed that on their journey, they were not alone. God permeated every step, every blade of grass, stone and tree. There wasn’t any place or anything that God wasn’t present in.

The following prayer suggests this. It is modified for today’s language.

God be with me in every pass,
Jesus be with me on every hill,
Spirit be with me on every stream, Headland and ridge and lawn;
Each sea and land, each moor and meadow,
Each lying down, each rising up,
In the trough of the waves, on the crest of the billows,
Each step of the journey You are there.
III, 195