Sue and I have this week been negotiating arrangements for some Long Service Leave early next year. It’s very exciting. We have never done anything like this before, and likely won’t again. I am increasingly mindful of the role of other people’s stories are playing in shaping our unique journey. We started by choosing where we might like to go. Then, as you might expect, we have been talking to all sorts of people who have been on these sorts of trips. And we have been talking to all sorts of people who have travelled to, or lived in, the particular areas we are thinking to visit. We are enjoying their stories. More than that, we are learning from their stories. Then we have engaged with a travel agent who has experience and support structures in place that we can trust as we have then set about clarifying more specifically the details of the trip. At the end of the day we will take a trip that is uniquely ours. No one else will have done the exact trip we will take. But all those stories we have gathered, and especially what we have learned from the travel agent, supported by the underlying support networks they are connected to, have been an important part in both shaping our journey and our confidence that our journey will be both life-giving, and wonderful. This week we are reading further in the famous ‘faith chapter’ (Hebrews 11) of the rich and ancient tradition of stories of the people of God that continue to shape our lives and engender within us a sustained hope of a life-giving and wonderful journey of faithful discipleship in unknown places.