Good morning, friends! A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the stages of faith (particularly with reference to Janet Hagberg & Robert Guelich’s classic work on it, “The Critical Journey”). The first few stages feel like what people generally expect from a life of faith—discovering God, entering into spiritual community, learning all we can, and then pouring back out what we have received by serving in our community. Then came a stage that can feel all wrong, like it “shouldn’t” even be part of the journey—at least according to what most of us have learned about life with God. Right in the middle of Stage 4, the Inward Journey, there is a place they call “The Wall”. It is a place we may spend a lot of time, without even realizing it; and we often don’t want to be there—and may spend a lot of energy resisting it. Instead of pressing into the wall, we let it bounce us back to previous, more comfortable stages. But when we talked about these stages, this Journey Inward (especially The Wall) seemed to be a place many of us find ourselves, and it can be so relieving to hear that this, too, is part of the journey (not necessarily a detour!). So this week, we’re going to spend some time together at the wall (though it is generally a fairly solitary endeavor), noticing what it feels like and what God and our souls might be up to there. So, as we begin, consider: have you ever hit a wall in your faith, in your ability to move forward in the journey as you knew it? What precipitated that, for you? What were the questions that rose up in your soul, longing for a response? Are you there now? What does it feel like? Remember that in Hagberg’s diagram of this journey, it is a circle we move around, stage-to-stage; and though we feel stalled out and maybe even distant at the Wall, God is equally accessible to folks in every stage, even this one.

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2022-10-03 14:43:38 UTC