Christ Church, Reading
When I sat down to write about my reflections on Pilgrimage, I started by searching for a quote from scripture or elsewhere that would reflect my feelings. One that particularly struck me comes from a Polish born American Rabbi, Abraham Joshua Heschel. He said. “Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.”
Last winter I began in earnest to contemplate Pilgrimage. I set intentions to be open to the journey on which we as individuals, a church, and diocese had embarked. I spent some time defining what pilgrimage meant for me: the nature of departures and arrivals and the unexpected changes in timing and course. What I came to realize, in a way that sort of hit me over the head, was that my whole life had been a pilgrimage. I have always been led by the spirit to new places, new friendships, new challenges, new joys and new hardships.
I have picked up companions along the way, a husband and five children. I have said “good bye” and “see you again soon” to many other travelers that are on their own journey. Every arrival was just a temporary stop before the next leg of the journey began. I am relieved to know that I am still a pilgrim and will be until my last day. For me there is an excitement in the prospect of change and growth and realizations.
I hold sacred the idea that God is present in everything; there is no separation. God is my constant companion, the Spirit my compass, and Christ dwelling in everyone that I meet, there to teach me. I have arrived where I am today via yesterday and headed toward tomorrow. What a blessing! I am a perpetual pilgrim.
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