"Stand firm in the way set before you, in prayer to the Most High God." Sir 17:21
Half way through any long journey, pilgrims get weary. It is natural and uncomfortable. We forget where we came from, even who we are, and all sorts of anxieties bubble up about where we are going. If you have ever been on a very long plane trip, you know the feeling. The air is stale, food tastes very bland, and you can only walk for a brief period of time in circles.
Prayer in the middle of our journey is radically important but usually dry and unattractive. We begin to doubt whether we are praying to God or for ourselves and our minds wander even more easily from the God who lives within and among us.
At the same time, prayer is absolutely necessary in the middle of our pilgrimage despite its emptiness, and it is good at times like this to remind ourselves that we are not alone. While we might feel lonely and disoriented, the great "cloud of witnesses" (Heb 12:1) does surround us with faith and the assurance that we are going somewhere. Though we might feel lost, God is very near.
Those who travel frequently can find all kinds of suggestions for making the trip more comfortable, even how to minimize jet lag, but the Christian must be wary of this advice. Being on pilgrimage is not about being comfortable, but learning to be at home with the God who dwells within and the church that walks with us no matter how flat the landscape and unattractive the environment.
Today, be where you are.
What are the biggest obstacles you encounter of your pilgrim journey?