Pilgrimage: a journey to a sacred place, returning with newfound knowledge. Returning changed.
Today has brought an end to the traditional work-week (whatever that means in terms of life here) and a slower pace compared to the rest of the week. It was a morning of strong coffee, debriefing of the week, and a cool morning breeze. Completely immersed in the returning of emails and making of mental to-do lists, my now dear friend and intern, Hannah, bursts into conversation about her love of the words pilgrimage and pioneering. Something triggered in my brain – the concept seemed familiar, but somehow distant. I had come across that concept not too long ago. A blog? A book? A conversation?
Finally, it clicked. I had come across the blog A Sacred Journey several months ago, intrigued but busyness and lack of time kept me from being hooked. This past month, I was again drawn to her blog through the writings of Dear Abby Leigh – an old friend and beautiful writer. Again, I had to explore this pilgrimage concept that I had ever so briefly glanced over. I lost myself in blog post after blog post, finding myself smiling in agreement – applying these thoughts to my own life and wandering spirit.
It’s an interesting concept – something that has been present for so many years, but is often put into a box that we bring out at Thanksgiving. Normally with the pumpkin pie. But the journey goes so much farther than that. We are all pilgrims – on an adventure of learning and discovery. I suddenly viewed my life differently.
I am on a pilgrimage. My life has consisted of one pilgrimage after another.
I am a wanderer. A free spirit. An adventurer.
I don’t sit still well. I like to move. Journeying from one place to another. From city to city. From culture to culture.I like learning. I like the familiar, but I crave unknown places. I’ve learned more through my travels than in any other time of my life.
Abraham. One of the original pilgrims. “Called by God to leave his homeland on a journey of sacred encounter.” (Read more HERE) Leaving the everyday, the mundane routines, the stagnant waters of the familiar. Journeying with the purpose of Divine encounters.
“Pilgrimage is wandering after God.” (Source here)
“Pilgrimage is a sacred journey – a movement that brings us toward the Divine.” (Source here)
Suddenly, you start thinking differently. My journey now has a different meaning. It’s not just wandering. It’s wandering with purpose. It’s intentionally journeying knowing that the sacred encounters along the way with others and The Lord Most High will cause you to return changed. My constant wandering isn’t aimless – it’s purposeful. It’s warranted. It’s crucial.
Here’s to my current pilgrimage. My next pilgrimage. And here’s to finding meaning in my many pilgrimages completed. Here’s to intentionally pursing the life of a pilgrim, to finding joy in the adventure, to learning and loving well.
Bring out the pumpkin pie, because today is Thanksgiving – and so is tomorrow.