The Approach: Walking Along the Pilgrims Path1
March 14, 2012 by eneubauer
In a reflective mood today. My 40th birthday has me thinking about my own pilgrimage through this life. It has been quite a journey – one that I would not trade yet not an easy path. I guess I can attest to that which my parents tried desperately to teach – attaining that which is truly good is not easy. I finally get it!
In thinking about my own personal pilgrimage this morning I was confronted with another’s journey. Today I was reading about Moses’ pilgrimage into the very physical presence of God. Exodus recounts this story when Moses boldly asked the Lord, “Show me your glory – I beg you.” God responds by stating “I will let all my splendour pass in front of you, and I will pronounce before you the name, The Lord.” It was in the granting of this request that Moses responded by bowing down and worshiping The Lord, asking for forgiveness. A reaction and more than that an attitude that we can learn from – if we have eyes to see.
There is a part of our collective pilgrimage that is very much situated in the physical realm. It is in this portion of our pilgrimage that we act, react and respond with our senses fueled by reason. This portion of our pilgrimage includes physical destinations like our travel to the Holy Land or a journey to a holy site. This pilgrimage also includes our relationships and the “saints” we encounter along that way. These encounters are pivotal and usually laced with a lesson if we are open to receiving / learning. Each experience is part of what forms a pilgrim / pilgrimage and prepares us for what lies ahead.
It is what lies ahead or beyond that is the ultimate objective of a Christian. And to that end Saint Theophilus of Antioch said, “Show me your God, I will say to you, Show me what kind of person you are, and I will show you my God. Show me then whether the eyes of your mind can see, and the ears of your heart hear.” See, the path ahead cannot be seen with the physical eyes alone. It is with the eyes of our hearts that we see and thus recognize God and His will. The ears of our heart give us the ability to clearly hear His voice.
The ability to see and hear is connected to our willingness to repent and respond by following Christ (call it a pilgrimage of the soul). It is in following Christ that the eyes of our mind begin to see and the ears of our hearts begin to hear. It is in this moment and through this type of pilgrimage that we become a new creature in Christ – the old has now passed away. With this inward transformation we can begin the most important pilgrimage of our lives. That journey which takes us, where Moses stood, into the very presence (& perfect relationship) with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This has not been an easy journey being as flawed as I am. But today I trust in one who is truly righteous, who is the path and destination. Praise be to God.
A good Lenten (and birthday) reflection.