by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter January 7, 2019

Epiphany is a season of the liturgical year that celebrates the journey of faith by telling the story of the three wise men, who find their way by getting lost in the mysteries of God. Their lives were not bound by the conventional assumptions that threaten to end our journey into our new life before it begins. Epiphany removes our accepted landmarks and instead encourages us to follow mystery, curiosity, and discernment. Epiphany challenges us to leave our failed pathways behind and to venture into the unknown, together. Just like the wise men returned home by walking a new path, we must find our real life by charting a path home by another way. 

Antonio Machado, a wise 20th-century Spanish poet, offers just the right misdirection for us at the beginning of our pilgrimage this year: Traveler, there is no path. When God calls you to something new, the signs of the way ahead cannot be found on the ground, because you haven’t yet taken those steps. Remember, When you are making a leap of faith into an unknown season of life, there is no road ahead, or as Dr. E. Lathrop Brown once said “Roads? Where we are going, we don’t need roads.” During Epiphany starts above guide our way on unknown familiar paths. 

Traveler, there is no path. 
The path is made by walking. 
Traveller, the path is your tracks 
And nothing more.
Traveller, there is no path 
The path is made by walking. 
By walking you make a path 
And turning, you look back 
At away you will never tread again 
Traveller, there is no road 
Only wakes in the sea.” 

― Antonio Machado, Border of a Dream: Selected Poems