I wonder what you think about when you hear the word “pilgrimage?” perhaps it is of one of the famous pilgrim routes like the Camino in Spain or one of the many pilgrim routes in this country to sites such as Canterbury, Durham, or Lindisfarne. But a pilgrimage does not have to be a long walk to a famous holy site. In reality a pilgrimage is simply about making a journey and intentionally seeking to slow down and be with God. You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your armchair, although physically getting out and walking even if it is only around the garden helps the body as well as the mind and spirit engage in the process.
In intentionally entering into the spirit of being a pilgrim we reconnect with the deep wells of faith that have inspired people down the ages. As we take a breath and a step, we reconnect with our spirits, and can be inspired by the ancient wisdom of our countryside and the men and women who have inhabited and moulded it for centuries.
The metaphor of a journey is relevant to us all. We are all trying to find our way in an increasingly complex world. How do we address the challenges of living with the multiple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic? How do we navigate the ever-changing landscape arising from the rapid development of artificial intelligence, or make sense of the changes in society’s norms and values?
Like many pilgrims before us it is right, we lament what we may well have lost, whilst also giving thanks for all that has blessed and continues to bless us. By pulling on our metaphorical boots and walking slowly and deliberately, whether actually or in our spirits, let the process refresh weary bones. Let the process of slowing down open you up to new ways to pray, to think about scripture and to engage with the big questions of our faith. We also learn new ways to be with each other and ways to tread lightly on this beautiful place in which we live.
Every blessing Susan