The photo posted with this article is from Zion National Park in the American Southwest. I took the shot five or six years back when my wife and I were vacationing in the area. This blog started in late 2006 – this photo became a visual symbol for me of the journey toward Christ’s Kingdom. It is not so steep as many journeys are, but it is “upwards.” I am also aware that “journey” is something of a cliche in speaking about the spiritual life, but there are few other words that quite capture its character: “exodus,” “pilgrimage,” are two that come to mind.
In the past five years of this blog, I have, from time to time, shared portions of my journey with others, and many have shared portions of their own within the comments. I have also had conversations through email with many who wanted a more private conversation. In the course of these five years I am deeply grateful that many have said that these writings were of help in their conversion to Orthodoxy. Nothing could make me happier. I am also aware that many have sent notes of thanks that were not about conversions. I am equally grateful.
Somewhere in the next few months (I don’t watch numbers all that close anymore), Glory to God for All Things, will log over 3,000,000 views in its short existence. It is staggering – such a large conversation – so one-sided – forgive me. But the journey continues.
I believe that the most critical parts of our pilgrimage to the Kingdom are found in details and not in the general thrust and direction. A word of kindness, an act of kindness, is worth more than every book or article on kindness that may be read. The Kingdom of God does not consist of books and blogs – but of “righteousness, peace and joy.” Such acts of kindness are the steps that take us toward the Kingdom of God.
My life has changed dramatically in the five years of this blog. I have become a grandfather (twice); three of my children have married during the time of its writing; both of my parents and my in-law parents have been laid to rest. Thus now, together with my wife, I journey as an earthly orphan, though gifted with heavenly parents. I have published a book, doubtless the fruit of this blog’s work.
Most especially, I have found (to my surprise), a host of friends. The internet sometimes gets a bad name (because some bad things can be found there). But I have found an international community of friends – people for whom I can pray and who will pray for me. This is not facebook, nor a “social” network – but the common love of Christ is a network called the Body of Christ, and I am deeply grateful for this one.
I ask your prayers for my continuing journey as I offer mine for yours. I give thanks for you all and give glory to God for all things. All things!