By Les Henson.
Eugene H. Peterson said, “the life of faith isn’t meant for tourists. It’s meant for pilgrims.” Following Jesus along the road of life is a pilgrimage, and each step we take brings us closer to our final destination. “Pilgrims are persons in motion passing through territories not their own, seeking something we might call completion, or perhaps the word clarity will do as well, a goal to which only the spirit’s compass points the way”, said H. Richard Niebuhr. The journey as many turns in the road and many unexpected destinations along the way.
Sometimes we appear to be travelling in circles, and at other times we take side roads that seem to continue forever. Some stretches of the road are flat and easy while other stretches are up and down and require considerable effort. Augustine wisely wrote, “In all trouble you should seek God. You should not set Him over against your troubles, but within them. God can only relieve your troubles if you in your anxiety cling to Him, Trouble should not really be thought of as this thing or that in particular, for our whole life in earth involves trouble; and through the troubles of our earthly pilgrimage we find God,” Certainly, two things are essential for us to remember: First, Jesus walks ahead of us, and second. He is our final destination. Let me bring this reflection to a close with a prayer of Scottish theologian, John Baillie:
“I, a pilgrim of eternity, stand before Thee, O eternal One. Let me not seek to deaden or destroy the desire for Thee that disturbs my heart. Let me rather yield myself to its constraint and go where it leads me. Make me wise to see all things today under the form of eternity, and make me brave to face all the changes in my life which such a vision may entail: through the grace of Christ my Saviour, Amen.”