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Some Bread Crumbs

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Dear Inner Circle,

Viktor Frankl reminds us that “we detect rather than invent our mission in life.” Yet time goes so fast that it seems almost impossible to distinguish one moment from another. So often the answer to the question “What did you do today?” is met with the fuzzy response, “It was busy, but I can’t remember.” How on earth can we heed the invitations we are receiving to participate in life? Building in practices to examine life for understanding are essential for those of us who wish to be attuned to those whispers. I would like to be the kind of person that is immediately awake to the minutiae of meaning contained within every moment, but, sadly fall short. We must find practices to aid this, otherwise we live lives of quiet desperation where we ”have the experience but miss the meaning” as T.S. Eliot observed. We are meaning-seeking beings and examining the bread crumbs that are left on life’s trail can guide us toward a life lived on purpose.

Bidden or unbidden, they come to us. I remember once sitting in my kitchen where a 10-year-old who hadn’t eaten for two days was staring into our pantry, sighing, “When I grow up, I want to have a cupboard full of food.” Another time a different kid told me how all he wanted to be when he grew up was to be a dad who would hug his kids every day, and never hit them.

Over the Easter weekend there is a walk, known as the ‘Stations of Kings Cross’, where over 100 of us walk the streets and stop at places of significance for our community. It is an important walk, as we drag a large wooden cross through the streets. We stop at places like the park to pray for those who have nowhere to live, the police station for those in prison, and the spot where Thomas Kelly was killed. We gather to remember, lest we forget, so we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.

As we walk there are those very eager to “carry the cross”, who walk along and smile as they do it. All except one young boy whose dad made him do it. He spent the whole walk staring angrily at the ground, red-faced, with his little brother teasing him the whole way. As soon as he arrived at the next station he threw the cross and the ground and exploded angrily at his brother. The embarrassed father apologised to those who saw it, but I had to reassure him that his son was the only one who really carried the burden properly, which was to have it placed upon him against his will.

Finding purpose is an invitation to live a life so much bigger than that which could be imagined. It places us in a larger frame, where our actions are not motivated by our feelings, but through our commitment to making this world right. So for those of you committed to the pursuit of justice, be it in law reform, housing reform, environmental reform, or caring for a relative, I know it may seem lonely, but rest assured, you are not alone, and your efforts will bear fruit that lasts.

Thanks for being part of our precious Inner Circle.

Jon

Rev. Jon Owen
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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