July 24, 2013
A pilgrim is a person who journeys to a sacred place for spiritual/religious reasons. So in a very real sense, each believer in the Great Beyond is a pilgrim; we believe there is something beyond this life, and we are journeying toward it. Because we are pilgrims whose homeland is not of this earth, we sojourn, seek, struggle, discover, doubt and experience amazement.
We have been blessed with dreams come true and hope realized. We have experienced the sadness of dreams destroyed and expectations dashed. We have had to start again - over and over again - with people, with dreams, hopes, our work, our love, our life.
Journey is what it is - the way of the human spirit. It implies necessarily that we are going somewhere, that there is an ultimate destination. This gets lost in post-modern culture with its hyper-mobility. Our destinations here vary: it can be across Zachary to the WalMart, or to Baton Rouge for a medical concern, or simply over to the neighbor's house. Other times we travel across time zones and oceans and encounter cultures far different from our own. Please be mindful that journey also refers to moving within the interior of our own lives. And here we can encounter more alien territory than a continent across the ocean.
If we journey inward, our travel guide must be the eyes of faith. It seems like we go along, seemingly lose our way, relinquish the way things were, seek a new path, and indeed discover it. We keep seeking meaning in and for our lives; we uncover new insights about who we are and what we do.
Finally we reach our true home, the place Joyce Rupp wonderfully describes as the place of "forever hello". This is the place where we are finally able to rest in contented fashion - no longer restless - near to the heart of God. This is a place of abiding peace. The paradox is that when we find our home in God, so we find our home within ourselves. When we journey to God and discover the place of "forever hello", we are able to accept ourselves as God accepts us, for, as Thomas Merton says, we understand we are truly made in the image of God.
There are plenty of struggles in this life. Do not let it dissuade you from continuing your journey. Keep the faith. Nourish it. Keep moving.
Leave a Reply.
Rev. Ricky Willis
Senior Pastor, ZUMC