PSALM 84.5-7 (NIV)
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of [Weeping],
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
The metaphor of life as journey might be a little cliche at this point, although, like most cliches, it works. Life as pilgrimage takes the metaphor a little further. A pilgrimage is a holy, faith-honing trek, on which the pilgrim pursues a path others have taken before, in their own intentional pursuit of God.
Here are some things I believe to be true, and which inform the work of this metaphorical Pilgrimage work:
- The Holy Spirit of God is at work in the world, at all times and among all people.
- Regardless of faith adherence or background, everybody is somewhere on a heart-pilgrimage. The heart-pilgrimage ought ideally to lead a person to “appear before God in Zion.” (I mean this metaphorically, too, of course, but maybe for some of us it will turn out to be literal as well!)
- Sometimes, when a person reaches a certain bend in the road of this heart-pilgrimage, they become disillusioned or unsettled with where they’ve been before–but often even as this is happening, they become more hungry for God.
I hope and pray that through the Pilgrimage, I–and others on this journey–may cooperate with the Holy Spirit to facilitate people’s spiritual transitions, so that ultimately they stay on the Way and arrive at the true Destination, too.