Dinner time found us yet again in a pub. (Well, we did come to experience British culture!)
“Oooo, let’s sit around that round table, like Arthur and his knights!”
We had just completed our visit with the Guildford Boiler Room, and we’re having our first debrief.
A little earlier in the afternoon, we had spent a chunk of time together in their prayer room, praying for the community, and the individuals we had come to know. We are using the Northumbria Community’s Celtic Book of Daily Prayer, which seemed appropriate, considering our journey. The fun thing about using a prayer book, is that bits of it will just leap out at you and feel very pertinent for the day. This afternoons prayer read as follows:
Lord, You have always marked the road for the coming day; even though it may be hidden, Lord I believe.
One of the interesting and sometimes unsettling things about pilgrimage is you don’t really know what is going to happen next, but knowing how you have set your intention before Him, each moment that comes to you is His gift to you for that moment, and is an integral part of the journey.
Also, it means that I finally succumbed and bought a British road map book because we kept getting lost. But today was also only an 8 curb bump day, so things are improving!
Back to our dinner in the pub, which included world class pizza, and a local brew called “Funky Monkey”. We spent the evening around the table, reflecting on our journey thus far. “What were the highlights? What were the hinderances? What are our hopes as we continue?” Peter, (our reigning king of alliteration and the team pun master) helped us to think through what had been life giving, where were the God moments. Then he helped us navigate the potentially treacherous waters of what wasn’t working for the group. We decided we didn’t want early mornings booked, so we could have time for individual prayer. We wanted more times of praying together as well, and praying with our hosts and those we met with. We gave each other permission to share the need of the moment, so we could be aware of one another and responsive to each other’s needs. “This isn’t a group that I would have normally ever chosen to travel with,” said Hannah, “but I absolutely believe we are right group of people for this trip!” It is very interesting travelling with a group that is not homogeneous, with differing interests and perspectives. It makes dinner time sharing extremely rich and delicious!
Here was tonight’s closing prayer from the Celtic prayer book. One of my faves:
Prayer of Abandonment to God
Father, I abandon myself into your hands.
Do with me what You will.
Whatever You do, I will thank You.
I am ready for all,
I accept all.
Let only Your will be done in me,
As in all your creatures,
And I’ll ask nothing else, my Lord.
Into Your hands I commend My spirit.
I give it to You
With all the love of my heart,
For I love You Lord,
And so need to give myself,
To surrender myself into Your hands
With a trust beyond all measure,
Because You are my Father
Charles de Foucauld