Aye, There's the blessing then.

Sunday, May 27, 2007
Our church this morning, in an act of graciousness and generosity, presented Lauralea and myself with two tickets to Scotland to start our Sabbatical. It includes a week on the island of Iona at a B&B, and another week before the plane returns, to be filled with visits to some of you. (Any of you want a couple of Canadians hanging around for a couple of days? Talk back)

I really can't remember how long I've carried about in my spirit a desire to do a pilgrimage, and if possible to have as a part of that journey a physical trip to a place like Iona. A place that has become known as a Thin Place.

Uh, yeah, “Thin places.”
Places where people feel most strongly connected with God’s presence. It is in these places where the seen and unseen worlds are most closely connected.

For me then, it is a place where it is possible to touch and be touched by God,
I've experienced those kinds of thin places in my life. Places or times when Christ's presence has been particularly close.

Of course those places and times exist elsewhere, and are not just limited to a couple of places on the earth. But there are places that people have been going for hundreds of years to hear or connect with, or simply to be with God.

I, have wanted to go to the island of Iona for a long long time.

Even though the truth of my life is that God is near and not far away, pilgrimage for me is a search for God and God’s goodness. Pilgrimage has to do with a change of heart. The outward, physical journey serves to frame an inner journey: a journey of repentance and rebirth; a journey which seeks a deeper faith, and greater holiness; a journey towards God.
Yeah, that's what I'm after.

So, around June 20 we need to get to Calgary to catch a flight to Glasgow. Then a week on a Scottish Island where God has been meeting with people for hundreds of years. Then a week of time to do what else there is to do there. Then back to Calgary and home for the rest of Sabbatical.

And yeah, this summer is to be about Spiritual renewal, discernment. It's about hearing and walking for extended seasons of time, with the God I serve.

It's about pilgrimage to the cross again, and to hear God tell me how he's made me to be, and how exactly that fits into the next portion of my life.

This is shaping up to be the marker for the next half of my days on this planet.

I know that's a lot to watch for, but I also know God's ability to meet with me. And I sense that this summer is turning into a much bigger connection between him and I than I originally believed.

Bring on the Sabbatical.


  1. Funny how tiny visions can become huge, life-changing events.

    Praying for "the Holy One of Israel" to meet you on the Island - deeply and profoundly.


  2. I like the emphasis of the Celtic Christians on experiencing the Creator through Creation. May you and Lauralea both find a thin space on Iona.

  3. Randall,
    What a beautiful expression of love. It seems you have a family that cares about your every need. I feel like I know you personally through your blogs and when I see you in person I greet you like you should know me too and forget that you don't. Anyway I wanted to send you a website and hear your thoughts on it but I was reading Leighton's today and he has found the website too. I sent him a comment and would like you to read it if you have some time. LOL.


  4. Randall - we've been waiting for you to find out about the trip. There's a bed waiting for you here if you two want it.


  5. After that post the other day and I mentioned pilgrimage and sabbatical, now you receive such a wonderful gift. I knew God would move in a very powerful way, and He did.

    What a wonderful journey that will be. I will be making my pilgrimage in the Spring of 2009 to Spain. I'm very happy for you. God heard our prayers.

    Joyful Joyful


  6. Randall...what a beauty gift! You deserve it. enjoy your time out there, may you be able to enter the sweet satisfying contemplation of our good Maker.


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