Pilgrimage….or not?

9 05 2011

Why? is one of the first questions we learn to ask; we continue to ask that question throughout our lives.  We’ve been asked why? are you doing this.   It’s even something we talked about with our group last weekend.  In the last week I’ve spent some time thinking about the answer.

  • Several years ago we promised ourselves we would take active, interesting vacations.  It started with our very first holiday as empty nesters, it was a river cruise in Europe.  A wonderful holiday, a treasured memory, but we were almost the youngest people on the boat.  We ate too much and moved too little.  After that holiday we decided those vacations could wait until we were older.  We’re doing a good job of keeping that promise, we’ve walked Hadrian’s Wall (England), cycled around Holland, paddled and portaged Algonquin Park, and cycled around Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain.  This trip fits right in.
  • The Camino is a designated world heritage site.  Experiencing a little bit of  history gives some purpose to the “vacation”.  Life is bigger than Huron or Bruce County and as a life-long learner I feel blessed to able to see the world (at least parts of it).
  • Is it a pilgrimage?  I don’t know.  A traditional pilgrimage would have the goal of becoming closer to God.  A modern pilgrimage may have the goal of evaluating life’s direction and deciding some major life decisions.  I’m enough of a reformed, protestant Christian to feel I don’t need a special place or “holy” ground to become closer to God.  That can happen in quiet, isolated places, but can also happen in the midst of busy lives.  God doesn’t live in some places and not others.  To be honest, I’ve had lots of time for reflection in the past year or so, and I don’t feel I’m any closer to knowing what I’m supposed to do.  Having said that, K and I have made some pretty important life decisions away from our normal routines.  Is this a pilgrimage?  I won’t be disappointed if nothing monumentous happens on this trip, but I think I’ll be open to life changing experiences that may come my way.



One response

22 12 2011
The Christmas Letter | The Farmer goes to Seminary

[…] in May. We travelled to Spain with a group from Concordia University as part of a course on the history and theology of pilgrimage.  Something happened on that journey. We went to look at, study, pilgrimage and somehow the […]

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