Life as Pilgrimage

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There are many pilgrimages with footsteps for us to follow. Pilgrims walk to the mouth of the Ganges in India, circle Mount Kailash in Tibet, or trek toward an ancient chapel in Spain. The pilgrimage calls us to leave modern life and journey into the wilderness of a remote countryside. After enduring lots of weather, tired feet, and spectacular nature, there is inner peace to find and more. Pilgrims quickly realize that in making a pilgrimage, it is also an inner pilgrimage. As dramatic as the outer journey maybe, there is an inner journey which can be equally transforming.

Every pilgrimage is a journey where personal limits struggle with nature's terrain, one's own mind, and the silence. The outer adventure of finding our way in a strange land can be a mirror of the inner journey into our psyche.

Pilgrimage in Medieval Europe

Every pilgrimage is a trek from our civilized identity to a landscape that is something other, something personal, the mystery of trekking around the soul. When asked, "Why do you make the journey? In today's demanding world, a new kind of pilgrimage is being made by many. People in all walks of life are hearing a calling to drop all the gadgets, unplug from all obligations, get away from the noise of daily life. Let's take a journey. Instead of going to Tibet, India, or Spain, an inner pilgrimage calls. We want to get out of the busy world and find freedom from the busy mind.

Instead of traveling to some remote part of the world, we seek a remote part of the self. We seek a quiet mind, inner peace. People of all religions and no religion are making a pilgrimage into silence. They are making a silent retreat.

When making any pilgrimage there are two schools of thought. There is the "rough it" school that physically and mentally challenges the pilgrim, long hours of trekking in harsh conditions. Then there is the nourishing program where the circumstances of the journey are giving and supportive along the way. The thinking behind the bare-bones approach is that the challenges make the pilgrimage. The thinking about the more nourishing journey is that the pilgrim can focus on the pilgrimage itself, the quest. Going on pilgrimage may give us a new sense of awareness and wonder.

Before you go, think through the reasons why you are going on pilgrimage. What is your purpose? What do you want to get out of it? Can you be praying for others as you walk? Those listed here are happy to support passing pilgrims or to tell you about their own pilgrim history. Several of these are listed under Accommodation. Its power is abundantly exemplified and established on every hand. When it is for good, what a powerful agency to correct and improve imperfections and the wrong, to stimulate and strengthen the doing of good and right. He is gently and humbly disposed toward everybody, and interprets all things for the best where he sees things are not going right.

Luther was indeed a pattern of a praying Christian.

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The Christians are but pilgrims in the world. The city they seek is not to be found on earth; it is the home of the soul in the mansions above, which the Savior has purchased for them with the price of His blood, and prepared for them. The Christian must not set his affection on things of the earth, but on things above Col.

Let us consider some of them. The Christian pilgrimage viewed as a service. Jesus Christ is our example as a servant.

He wrought with his own hands as an artisan. We should follow it. Christian service must not be separated from the common concerns of daily life. Talents, fitness, opportunities, regulate individual service. The Christian pilgrimage viewed as a battle. Life is a battle. Physical life is a battle. Men have to conquer the forces of nature, contend with fire, wind, and water, and subdue the earth by tillage, in order to gain the materials necessary to support physical life.

Again, it is a battle; for disease strives with health, destructive wars with restoration, depression competes with prosperity. Many hardships are common to all, but all do not enter nor wage the battle of life with the same advantages. Some have parents of great wealth and have the doors of ease, enjoyment and honorable position thrown open to them.

A far larger number seems destined to begin and tread the path of life more among thorns than among roses, and must climb hard to reach a respectable elevation. Some have sickly constitutions making the battle of life a burden to them, while to others it is a comparatively light exercise. Some are blind, maimed, deformed.

Some have dissolute parents and uncomfortable homes, are clothed in rags and see only poverty and misery from morning till night and from day to day, have to toil hard for the bare necessities of life, lack the help of education, and have no influential friends to assist them, etc. But God is the judge; he putteth down one, and setteth up another. Spiritual life, especially, is a battle. Cheered on by the Captain of our salvation, we shall defeat the purposes of all our adversaries and win the victory in every field of battle.

Tribulation is not a novelty in the world. We cannot enter the kingdom of glory unless we are willing to agonize for an entrance. God corrects and chastens those whom He loves. Scripture bears abundant testimony to the truth of this. The Christian pilgrimage is also presented to us in Holy Scripture under the figure of a journey at sea. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. The ship on the sea has often been employed as a type of the church here on earth, and also as a type of the individual Christian journeying over the laborsome sea of life to the serene haven and peaceful strand of the Promised Land.

No ship weighs anchor and starts out aimlessly over the briny deep. There is a desired, definite haven toward which it sails. Whatever other answers to this question, this one must be given: — His desired haven is, — Heaven, the Promised Land. But ere he gains the blessed goal, there is the sea to cross, the storms to encounter, the billows to battle. At times the journey is pleasant, for the sea is calm, frequently so at the beginning of the voyage. The sky is clear, the sun is shining brightly from the azure blue, there is joy and singing, all seems well. Those are the good days.

But life on earth, like the sinful world, is changeable. Now the journey is laborsome, jeopardous, now there is fear and trembling. Such is the earthly life of the Christian pilgrim. Man himself is as a ship and the passenger of the same, and life itself is a sea full of perils to both, and the safety of the voyage depends solely and wholly upon: — Who is the pilot? The Christian, then, is in care of One, who is infinitely wise, all-knowing, and all-powerful.

He never had a wreck, never could have one. Fierce storms and savage waves have raged and spent their full fury against the ships He hath piloted, but safely and most surely, they all reached their desired haven.

The Christian Life as Pilgrimage by Derek Thomas

Every enterprise of human society to be successful calls for leadership. Every individual human life, pursuing a progressive policy, and coveting a constant success in praise-worthy endeavors, must have a leader. God appointed Moses as deliverer, mediator, lawgiver and leader for His people, Israel. While His people were groaning in Egypt, God was preparing the deliverance through His appointed leader, Moses.

God put His rod into the hand of Moses. As a servant of the Most High, he led the vast multitude out of the Egyptian captivity. Not at once did Israel reach the land of promise, but was led thitherward through a toilsome, protracted pilgrimage. Moses was their God-appointed leader and guide, and they knew it, and believed it.

He accompanied and led Israel, though not yet incarnated. Who is this Chosen One? What an unspeakably great, exalted, sublime leader and guide the Christian has on his earthly pilgrimage!