Now it was, when Pharaoh had sent the people free,
that God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines,
which indeed is nearer,
for God said to himself:
Lest the people regret it, when they see war,
and return to Egypt!
So God had the people swing about by way of the wilderness at the sea of reeds … – Exodus: 13:17-18 (Everett Fox translation)
* * *
Looking back on my life, my journey has not gone the way I’d planned. There was, in fact, no way I could have anticipated the turns it’s taken or the places I’ve lived.
What unifies this zig-zag route has been the growth in my spiritual experience each step has led to, each one accompanied by a new degree of freedom and service.
* * *
Thereby signifying to them, where Help is to be had, who were seeking Salvation from the Hills and from the Mountains, yet laboured but in vain; but in Returning and in Rest, they have found themselves saved, according to the Word of the Lord by the Prophet. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)