23 years ago I began, what I have recently begun to understand, is a pilgrimage. I didn’t know it was a pilgrimage – in fact words like pilgrimage and manifesto make me a bit uncomfortable. Radical people with more than a little crazy mixed in seem to be the ones who go around using those words. That’s certainly not me…right? 🙂
I feel like I am the most unlikely ‘pilgrim’ you will happen across (you’ll know me because I will have on cute shoes…no matter what). Yet here I am all these years later recognizing that when I stepped off the edge of all I had ever been taught and then decided (with more than a few ways ‘out’ for myself – it was a very doubtful and conditional experiment) that I would try to live like Jesus taught in Matthew chapters 5-7. Not knowing the consequences of my decision, I decided I would stay as close to those chapters as possible (btw, I knew it would be impossible – the only way to choose any of those counter cultural and unnatural ways to live was with the help of a very Holy Spirit that was ‘other’ than my own natural ego – I was very materialistic and wanted desperately to be popular and beautiful – Truthfully, I had little clue about who God really was, and really believed it would be all about me getting what I wanted.) and so I began to live a secret life – internally. I began to think about my decisions. I began to be purposeful in my choices. I began to build a new house for myself.
I certainly had no idea it would take me through years of devastating loss and pain, poverty and hardship, broken relationships and darkness. Years of paying attention and making choices towards healing. Years of learning to be honest about where I veered off the path and to learn the warning signs that would lead me there. Years of discovering the truth and difference between the shadow of what the world calls love, beauty and intimacy and what God offers so freely to us. I had no idea my house would become a traveling one, and I would dwell in tents and followed the cloud and the fire for 16 years. No idea that there wouldn’t be an instant miracle lightening strike and everything would ‘be fine’ for me. No, I didn’t have a clue that it would take me 21 years to realize that I was on a pilgrimage and to realize that 99.99999% commitment is no commitment at all and, when I did realize it, that I would make that choice to step ALL in and commit 100% to such a path. I had no idea that God wouldn’t just fix everything as I WANTED IT, but if He had, I would never have learned these lessons which are so very valuable.
Maybe I’m a slow learner, but it has taken me all of this time to learn, little by little, to trust and to walk in faith and I am so blessed to know this path and here I am, still following this glorious path where every bush is blazing holy. I realize maybe I am going so slow because every other step I have to take off my very cute shoes and bow in thanks for all that has been done, but then I have come to enjoy this path very much and have no wish to run ahead…
Check out the new issue of the Songs from the Valley Newsletter on faith:
Posted in action
, Becoming Yourself
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, Letting Go
, Songs from the Valley
, soul and spirit