The Spiral Journey
Velma Ruch, Herald Publishing House, 1994, reprint 2018, pp. 36-39
From Summoned to Pilgrimage: The Temple as Focus of a Pilgrim People
Heed the urgent call to become a global family united in the name of the Christ, committed in love to one another, seeking the kingdom for which you yearn and to which you have always been summoned. That kingdom shall be a peaceable one and it shall be known as Zion. -Doctrine and Covenants 161:6b
Graceland [College] was in need of an acting president who could guide the college for a time after President William T. Higdon had been called to be an apostle. In the search process my name had come up. Frankly, I was terrified. In all my years of service at Graceland such an eventuality had not crossed my mind. I was perfectly happy in the role I was already fulfilling and had difficulty imagining how I could effectively function in another. I spent some sleepless nights struggling with what my answer would be if the question of such service should come. I felt that without more assurance than I then had, I could not serve.
In the midst of this. came Baccalaureate Sunday. I sat in my gown and hood with the rest of the faculty listening to the chapel choir sing an anthem based on God’s question to Isaiah, “Whom shall we send and who will go for us?” All at once, I was granted a vision down the path I had come in life, and an intense remembrance of God’s blessings as individual incidents stood out in my mind. Imprinted on the memory were the words, “These were given to you for a purpose. Use them in pursuing your further call.” I no longer doubted that I would be asked to serve and what my answer must be. It was a week later that the Board of Trustees made the request, and I said yes. In the succeeding year I found once again that the God who calls goes before us and prepares the way.
The spiral calls us to a remembrance that is a spiritual discipline. In early Christian vocabulary, it was called “the examen.” It was a looking back in order to make an accurate assessment of our situation, to recognize our failures and our victories, and to gather insight and strength for the further journey.
Remembrance is healing work. We remember the sadness, the failures, as well as the joy, to better understand our lives. …That is what the spiral journey is all about. The forward movement may sometimes require the backward step…Like movements and themes of a symphony, the old themes appear and reappear, though never in the same pattern. Gradually we come to discern the wholeness toward which the symphony is moving. So it is that remembrance and revelation are always joined. At each reappearance of a theme from our past, we see more clearly the direction our lives should take.
We are one in Christ.
Week Three: Co-Creating the Future with God
Journal/Reflect: World Conference is an invitation to co-create the future with God as we discern where the Spirit is leading on a variety of topics that have impact for the church and the world. An important part of discernment is releasing our own agendas to become more available to God’s bigger vision. Gently notice what you are carrying into this experience that the Spirit may be inviting you to release. Notice also where you feel the life-giving Spirit opening up new possibilities and ways of seeing that you are invited to embrace.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.