avalon, it seems is not so easy to find. it is elusive and the pathway there is rocky and filled with battles of all kinds. i chose avalon because it is perhaps my favorite mystical literary places. the only other one that comes close is narnia. but there is a difference between arriving in avalon and arriving in narnia.
being transported to narnia just happened. the sons of adam and the daughters of eve simply passed through a doorway and poof, there they were. it only happened when they were doing the ordinary and not expecting it and it only happened when they were needed. narnia was a world of wonder, magic, and beauty it was also a world in need and they were called when a great evil arose that needed to be conquered.
avalon always seemed, to me, to be a reverse of that. one reached avalon after the battle, after the trial, after the heartache. it wasn't heaven, but a resting place to be rejuvenated and healed so that one could return to the other side of the lake with the knowledge, strength, and proper weapons needed to continue the fight.
sometimes i think i make it there, but it always seems like too brief of a moment. i reach it's shores only to be called back to the real world. i get the quick fix, the band aid on the wound before returning to the front line. or i get there only to be handed the magical weapon, but then i'm sent back without the proper training on how to use it.
it all seems so bleak, doesn't it? and yet i keep searching.
tomorrow i'm supplying at one of my favorite congregations. they are always so happy to have me there and i feel comfortable being there. i enjoy them and they always seem to enjoy me. the gospel reading is matthew 14:22-33 . the quick version of the story is that the disciples are on a boat, in a storm. suddenly they see jesus walking on the water and peter tells jesus to comand him to walk on the water to where jesus is. peter starts walking, but before he can reach jesus the waves and the storm scare him and he starts to sink. he calls out for jesus to save him and immediately jesus reaches out his hand to him.
i believe i can walk on water, not literally of course, but i believe i can fight the necessary battles. i can be strong and courageous; slay the dragons; and rescue the damsal in distress, but there are times ~ so many times ~ that i am suddenly too aware of the storm raging around me and i start to sink.
fear and doubt should never be the end of anyone's story. when morgan le fay takes king arthur's mortally wounded body to die and be buried in avalon his tombstone reads "here lies arthur the once and future king" and his story lives on and on in constant hope.
hope is the conqueror of fear and doubt. hope begets faith and faith begets hope. when faith falters, hope reaches out it's hand and when hope seems lost... faith pulls it back into existence.
i have faith in God and in restoration and i continue to hope that in my quest to find avalon i will experience sacred moments and witness wonders.
may you all have those same moments in your quests-