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The Return Part 3: The Temptation to Travel Alone

Saturday started out so innocently. I had a good workout. Then I was hungry! I was walking out to the jeep when I felt this nudge to call Teri, a good friend and also a founder of Celtic Way. I called and she was up for our shared addiction…we met at Starbucks on Buckley Avenue. It is close to their home, almost always crowded and you should find a signal to turn left in order to get safely into their parking lot. It is a crazy avenue. The coffee was good and carries that Starbucks kick that makes us all go back for more. The conversation centered on our families and then Celtic spirituality.

The details get a little sketchy from here but the essence is still within me. There were, go ahead and guess…two, not one, but two geese waddling by our window headed toward Buckley Avenue. I thought “Oh No!” Our concern focused on the geese and their attempt at crossing a street that is now full of activity. Teri and I were glued to the geese as they approached the curb. They kept waddling, side by side too far out of reach for us to get to them. And then it happened without warning. That steady waddle, rhythmically working itself out together just flat out stopped. It was like there was a red light flashing before their eyes. They looked up and down the street, waited for an opening, and continued safely onto the grass covered island.

We breathed a sigh of relief and began talking about this “string” of goose incidents. Teri and I have been friends for two decades so this is safe conversational ground for me. Now we talked about the Celtic Soul Friend - that was not lost on either of us. We know from experience that going the spiritual journey alone is risky and perilous. Here it comes…wait for it…BUT! This was my 3rd incident with a goose in less than a week and it was kind of getting to me. “Set the Holy Spirit free in my own life was the first message.” “Follow me”, was the second. Now it was time, apparently, for “The Spiritual Journey is safer and richer when I don’t travel alone.”

On my way home I was thanking God for these experiences when it happened. First, I wondered… I could begin to feel the doorway to all my familiar inner voices begin to take over the conversation. “Really, Scott, Do you always have to think of yourself as needing something special taking place in life?” “Could it be that geese live around here and they are finding their way home as they have done so many times before?” “Not everything has spiritual significance!” “What will people think?”

I do not know what you or others will think.

I must admit that I do care what you might think. Maybe I care too much…

Last night I was privileged to share with a group of people about a word that has come to mean so much to me. The word is panentheism. It says everything is in God. That God’s presence is what keeps life itself going and that God is alive and well, moving all around and within us. This view of the Divine carries with it the paradox of transcendence (God is wholly other and beyond all) and Immanence (God is within all) combined together.

It is where I am living out my Celtic Christian faith these days. It is not the only “way” to live out one’s faith; it is not the only path available. It is mine and I wanted to share it with you. I’m sensing, experiencing some incredible changes these days. It is difficult and rewarding. Sometimes it is tempting to deny it. But I have good friends, Dig, Kris, Teri, Don and now…some geese that will pop up at least in one more story. It is a life full of mystery and wonder when I travel with others. I need them because there are a lot of busy streets in life. Remember, hold hands and look both ways before crossing.

Father Scott Jenkins is a Founding Director of the Celtic Way. Read more about him Here.

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