To some a spiritual journey is like a hike because there are times when we are on smooth and level terrain where we can walk with little effort to our destination. There are other times, where we are hiking across a stream, where we feel a little more challenged but it is a good challenge that allows us to meet the little hurdles of life by using the rocks in the water as stepping stones in order to get over to the other side of the stream.
Then there are times, when we are on very rough terrain, with an uphill climb, gripping on rocks and branches in an effort not to fall. These are the challenging times; however, even with these challenges, once we get to the top of the mountain, we have the most beautiful view of God's glorious creations: the ocean, waterfalls, the birds, the flowers. This is when we feel closest to God - when He has come to our rescue - after the greatest challenges of our lives. This is when He tells us "Do not be afraid." It is an amazing experience to know there is God's beauty waiting for us on the other side of the mountain. He is always waiting for us. He is so patient.
We also find God through Scripture, prayer, and silence but we can also find God in other people. We are surrounded by people who are like wingless angels who live in the image of God. Such caring people. God sends people to intersect on our spiritual journey to remind us we are not alone. He is always with us. As Saint Clare instructed Agnes, we should take heed to Gaze upon Him, Consider Him, Contemplate Him, as we desire to Imitate Him.
"It begins with the gaze of the Crucified, then moves inward toward self-reflection, identity and transformation, and finally outward so that we may radiate God's face to the world." (Franciscan Prayer, Ilea Delio, O.S.F. pg. 68).