A Stop Or A Way

28 December, 2009

Roadside chapel, Lamur, Belgium, 2009.

Roadside shrine. Grand-Leez, Belgium. 2009.

Near Grand-Leez, Belgium, where Rue Henri de Leez connects to Rue du Pont des Pages a small shrine sits beside the way where it has stoically received prayerful travelers for hundreds of years. Belgium is and has historically been a Catholic country. Seventy-five percent of the population align themselves to the Roman Catholic Church and small religious icons and shrines can be found in homes, courtyards, and throughout the countryside.

This small shrine was erected here beside this narrow country road centuries ago by persons unknown. The eyes of God have not missed one traveler who has entered in to petition God for need or blessing. This object of religion effectively illustrates a point of distinction between religion and a relationship.

Most modern Christians prefer to consider their faith a relationship rather than a religion. Obviously there are religious components to faith, but for Christians it is the personal relationship with Christ rather than observance to ritual that defines their position. Therefore, the need for objects of religion diminishes greatly.

This small shrine was a stop on the way, a step off the path, a momentary pause dedicated to God and worship. Which is a metaphor for religion in general. However, a relationship with Christ is the essence of our path, not a stop on the way. He is the Way.

The Christian faith is dynamic because we travel our paths with God. Yes, we take time to step from the path to dedicate time to quiet prayer and worship, as we should. Yet, when we depart again on our journey we don’t turn from God with his blessings and continue on our journey alone, rather we take His hand as He leads us on the way. Therein is all the difference.

© 2009 A Mission Proclaimed

A Mission Proclaimed is a federally recognized 501(c)(3). Your support is greatly appreciated.

One Response to “A Stop Or A Way”

  1. Chris Mobley said

    True, oh so true. I grew up with rules that described my relationship with God, aka religion. Now I enjoy the community a church brings to my life but at the same time steer clear of “rules.” When your following the Lord you He reveals what is right and wrong. Enjoy the journey

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