Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What is a Pilgrim

"My heart is on fire this morning as I study what it means to be a pilgrim, not a wanderer or a tourist, in this world. Pilgrims spend their lives going somewhere-- getting closer to God. I used to think every journey required a backpack. Turns out, you don't need a plane ticket to change every little way you've ever found God, you simply need the will and the hunger. You could actually learn to eat, pray, and love right where you are. You could figure out how to live in the skins of "wild faith" from your own 1-bedroom apartment. As Eugene Peterson writes about repentance, I realize I need to know the word more because every definition ever handed to me has staled from sitting out too long-- "repentance is a decision. It is deciding you've been wrong in supposing that you could manage your own life and be your own god." Repentance is a decision to stop death-gripping the dead in your life and become a pilgrim to a path of peace. You reject one path-- the one you've settled to travel on-- and accept another one. You say "no" to a life that used to suffice. You see the split in the road, the fork, and you take the path that makes you nauseous. William Faulkner said (in a different set of words than this): You don't build a monument for a life that used to fit, you simply track the footsteps away from your past-- more and more gathered proof that you actually moved. Lord, teach me to move. Teach me to move."

-Hannah Brencher

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