Psalm 95 Genesis 40:1–23 1 Corinthians 3:16–23 Mark 2:13–22
As a child, I remember being fascinated by maps. They seemed to open up
new horizons, new places I’d never been but were there, ready to explore. I
particularly loved the centuries-old maps with fantastic sea monsters writhing
in the oceans, hoary gods with tridents ready to spear unsuspecting sailors,
and oversized cupids blowing great gusts across the seas. Even the land
masses had their charms: the Mountains of the Moon plunked down in Africa
that Herodotus had said were the source of the Nile, and South America,
with giant sloths and mastodons wandering the continent. I was particularly
intrigued by southern Arabia, of which a map noted more accurately, if less
prosaically, Nothing is known of this coast or the interior.
Maps purport to tell us about our surroundings, but in fact they tell us more
about ourselves than we might acknowledge. They project our fears, as those
mapmakers did in those glimpses of sea monsters. They make clear lines
between the territory we know and the unexplored. They show us future
possibilities and where we can go.
Particularly in Lent, it’s appropriate to ask: Where are we going? When we use
a smartphone app to locate the nearest Starbucks or the closest cinema, are we
not revealing our priorities?
We are all pilgrims on the same journey, yet we all have our own uniquely
individual maps to guide us on our way. What sort of personal map are you
making to guide you day by day to your priorities? And are you happy with
where you’re going?