Have you ever wondered how long of a Journey it was for the Magi who were in search of the “Newborn King of the Jews?” Although there are many thoughts as to where the Magi came from, many suggest they came from Persia (present day Iran) on their way to Jerusalem. A journey of at least 1000 miles that probably took 30 days.
And that was just one way! And this was 2000 years ago, no trains, planes or automobiles. Imagine the effort involved in such a trip. (And on top of that there was no GPS, no cell phone; no XM radio and so much less then we have today)
This idea of journey, of taking a trip, of visiting someone… got me thinking about the people that are part of our life: family, neighbors, friends. People we are often separated from because of life and all that we have to do, because of distance, because we just do not have the time.
We all have family and friends that we have not seen or spoke with in a long time. Maybe they live 1000 miles away or maybe they live 1000 feet away.
Yet the Magi began a journey far more challenging than any journey we will take in our lifetime.
This weekend, who might be the person or persons to whom we need to make a journey to? To their home, make a phone call, even send a text or e-mail or whatever the medium we use for communication.
The Magi brought gifts to the child Jesus – Gold, Myrrh and Frankincense. But maybe the gifts of time shared, a word of encouragement or prayer, an offer of help in some way are as valuable, maybe even priceless to the people of our everyday life.
I have to share a personal story about taking a journey that I was part of this past week. A month ago, I contacted my 2 brothers and 2 sisters and suggested for New Year’s Day we all have dinner with Mother. Now for me and 1 brother and 1 sister the effort and journey to do this was easy – we all live within 10 miles of mother. But for one sibling the trip is 1,800 miles and an 8 hour flight and for another sibling the trip is 1,400 miles and a 6 hour flight.
Well, the gathering was meant to be. Everyone came. And Mother was happy to have all 5 of her children around her. (I would suggest that was a pretty priceless moment and gift)
So, I think you get the point. Maybe there is someone we need to visit, give a call, send a letter or e-mail. Someone we maybe haven’t spoken with in a while or maybe someone we just thought about in recent days. Someone who would be blessed by our gifts of time, presence, concern and prayer.
May we be present day Magi who make the effort.
As the Chinese Philosopher – Lao Tzu says, “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
May we take that first step today, this week, in our journey to connect or re-connect with family and friends and others into this New Year!