15 March 2009

Pilgrim? What's that?

First, to get something unrelated off my chest: Facebook is cool and everything but if it winds up taking the place of what was a rich and vibrant blogging culture then I’ll be sorely soreified (...that sounds pretty gross) What I mean to say is that no number of status updates and photo tags is in any way as deep or as meaningful as the way most of these blogs were going for a good long stretch. And as I look around I see a lot of blogs where November or December is the latest entry. >sigh< And I’m pointing the fingers back at me here as well. I know I’ve been totally dragging my tail in the same regard. But...I feel much better now.

OK – moving on to the ‘real’ blog.

For something close to three months, I’ve felt God gently nudging me toward what He’s calling a pilgrimage. I already laid out the main idea in my last post but that was pretty brief and I guess I’m not done chewing on this. Last year, the word God was kneading into my heart was ‘priesthood’ and some really neat stuff came out of that. So far, ‘pilgrim’ is the word or the season and again I’m at a loss to make any kind of emotional connection to the word. I’ve got just a few notions that seem archaic at best, silly at worst. I’m pretty sure God isn’t asking me to wear a tall black hat with a buckle...but you know, He’s known to ask some strange things.

The dictionary tells me the word stems from a Latin word meaning ‘foreign’ and of course explains a pilgrim as somebody on a long journey to a sacred place for religious purposes. But there’s got to be more to this than just a trip – it’s a tradition that has deep and ancient roots and we Christians are by no means alone in the process.

Certainly there is something here about understanding the journey as equally important (if not more so) than the destination. This root of ‘foreign’ reminds me of the thoughts about us being strangers in a strange land – citizens of heaven and not this earth...that all makes a certain amount of sense, but it also seems like there is a lot more to fill in here. I don’t know what to expect from this journey to Bethel. I’m intrigued but somehow less than excited (which I sort of expected I would be). And I have a feeling that over the next week God will explain more of the thing to me. I’m not sure how it will work out financially either. Not like I plan to stay in some sweet resort while I’m there but with things as tight as they are, even the gas is a stretch so I’m praying that God provide for this trip – it might be a good diagnostic to determine if this really is him, or if I’ve manufactured this in my head. In the past, waiting on his provision has been a great way of confirming as well as a faith builder.

Anyway, I expect to go...but frankly I’m not yet certain. Nothing at all like the trip to MorningStar. Maybe that’s part of the pilgrimage too. It has some sense in my mind of being an essentially aesthetic ascetic experience (is that the right spelling Kathie?) You know, the whole ‘deny the flesh’ thing. So driving my jeep down there with a sleeping bag doesn’t seem too out of the way.

Uh...ok I don’t know how to end this post. So – I'm done

6 comments:

Michael Slusser said...

It's aesthetic if you intend to go for the artistic or sensory experience it brings; it's ascetic if you feel that it may require self-denial and spare conditions.

Silverback said...

coo' Thansk Mike

Risa said...

And of course, there's a certain bohemian aesthetic to the asceticism of sleeping in your jeep... ;o)

Kathie said...

You know that Michael is smarter than me right?

Silverback said...

Brokener maybe...taller for sure...but if you studdied math as well as Engligh you would know that one infinity cannot be bigger than another infinity...

razwold said...

ACK! Okay, I can't even finish reading the post until I respnd to your first paragraph. You say that Facebook isn't nearly as rich and connecting as... what's that? a BLOG?? C'mon, hon. I know it's hard, but people used to talk um... face to face. And THAT was called community.
Humph!