The invitation to follow Jesus in an invitation to a journey.
Sometimes, though, we want to imagine that the spiritual life is more like a formula: Pray this prayer, follow these three (easy) steps, and you're in. Or out. Or you get the prize you were seeking.
What if, instead of a formula, we thought of the spiritual life as a journey? And not a journey focused so much on the destination as on the journey itself -- one step in front of the other, striving to follow a little more closely, to love a little more deeply, to trust a little more fully, to place ourselves in the hands of the One who goes before us, and walks beside us, and is behind us to catch us when we fall.
"If we answer the call to discipleship, where will it lead us?" Dietrich Bonhoeffer once asked. "To answer this question we shall have to go to him, for only he knows the answer. Only Jesus Christ, who bids us to follow him, knows the journey's end. But we do know that it will be a road of boundless mercy. Discipleship means joy."
Discipleship means joy. And love. And peace. And hope.
So join us. Lay aside the idea that you have to have all the answers, or be good enough, or holy enough, or anything at all. You are a child of God. You are beloved. And God invites you to the journey.
It's not a linear path, always forward with never a misstep. It's usually a winding path, with plenty of opportunities to ask the big questions about life and faith, and plenty of companions who, like you, are a mixture of faith and doubt. Best of all, wherever you are, God is there.
So welcome to the journey.