Monday, January 27, 2014
Life is a Pilgrimage
We travel up many steep mountains and plummet down into valleys. We see many many sights along the way, many of which make the journey well worth the physical pain of getting there. We see things that are alarming, potential dangers, wild animals, cliffs, glaciers, rushing waters, but we forge on ahead on this pilgrimage, because we know if we keep walking, the sights will change. They will become beautiful and calm once again. Our serenity is always near....even when we don't necessarily feel it or see it.
Getting to the mountain tops takes lots of strength, stamina, and putting one foot in front of the other, step by step no matter how hard it feels, lots of breathless climbing for periods of time. We stumble across exquisite things of beauty that take us by surprise.....a kind gesture, a kind word, a spiritual awakening with a loving and compassionate God, a moment of seeing someone put forth a Herculean effort to move forward...the courage takes our breath away.
We travel down into valleys on this journey, down down down.....we can feel our toes pounding into the front of our boots, the pain shooting up into our legs, slowing us down, distracting us from the beauty along the way. The lush vegetation begins to look like murky swamp land to us, making our legs feel heavy, we become afraid as we slodge on ahead that we won't be able to continue and to finish out our pilgrimage. Making us afraid, paralyzing us with fear, stopping us in our tracks from making any sort of progress...either up or down.
We keep walking though because we know that the only way out is through. We meet many lovely people along the way, who are traveling their own pilgrim journeys. Good people, who found themselves on this unexpected path. They share their hearts, their fears, their successes, a conquest here and there....they find that they are not traveling alone. There are many who can understand this particular pilgrimage. They learn together how to let go of expected outcomes, how to allow one another to travel at their own speed, in their own ways, and they learn most of all how to love unconditionally.
Despite the storms that often blow in, the tumultuous terrain, the unexpected obstacles that seem to pop up out of nowhere....it is a journey filled with beauty when we stop to look. The kind faces looking at back us through our tears, through our pain and anger. The lack of judgment because those same faces have traveled this same journey. They know how painful, infuriating, and scary it can be. We often encounter a power greater than ourselves for the very first time, who stands by ready to lead the way when we decide to step out of the way and allow Him His rightful place. There are many miracles along the pilgrimage if we quiet ourselves and watch for them. Our hearts change. They grow and fill up with peace and hope and acceptance when we travel this journey.
We are never alone.