formation friday (well, saturday): pilgrimage

kathyescobar formation friday, spiritual formation 4 Comments

blog formation friday pilgrimageoh how i loved the shifter’s prayers that some of you shared last week, either here or on blogs or in emails.  so beautiful! i had a crazy day yesterday and never had a chance to post this reflection from a gathering i facilitated this week.

when i intersect with the bible on these kinds of exercises, i do not think of all of the ins and outs of the passages.  i just think of the ways i can connect with it.  if you are allergic to the bible right now, my suggestion is to try to unhook from focusing on all of excess baggage around it and only center on the beauty of the words & the story they might be telling for today.

many of us are on a pilgrimage of sorts–setting our intention in a new direction, walking toward something new, risking our hearts and livelihoods in different ways to seek change.   these roads are dangerous. there are thieves and robbers along the way trying to steal from us.  there are all kinds of possibilities that will cause us to turn back and return to safer ground.  but hopefully, the pull of God is more powerful and we will be compelled to continue walking in this direction.  as we do, we will eventually pass through the valley of weeping and find refreshing springs (and then the truth is, we will probably pass through it again and again). but we will grow stronger and stronger.  we will find our way, even though it might look so much different than we imagined.

my hope for me, for all of us, is that as we walk that we don’t become so focused on “getting there” (whatever there may be) that we miss the beauty & glory that’s right before us, even in the valley of weeping & the steep curves.  that we somehow can notice what is and not only what isn’t.

here’s a short journaling exercise centered around a passage i love in psalm 84:5-7.  here it is in pdf form, too, if you want to just print it out.

what joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to jerusalem.  when they walk through the valley of weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.  the autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.  they will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in jerusalem.  – psalm 84:5-7 (NLT)

God, i am (or want to be on) on a pilgrimage toward….

the valley of weeping felt/feels so….

but i am also tasting the refreshing springs of….

the thieves and robbers along the road that keep trying to get me to turn back and go home are…

but despite these scary, discouraging things, i keep feeling you say….

 on this hard journey i really don’t want to miss….

* * * * *

have a good weekend.  today is jose & i’s 22nd wedding anniversary so its a happy day remembering all of the wild & crazy twists and turns over the years and all the ways the thieves & robbers tried to ruin us but couldn’t. see you monday.