We are all pilgrims. But where is it we are bound?
I love the way the English language works on this last sentence. On the one hand it asks, “Where are we headed? What is our destination?” Yet, it also asks us about what binds us, what has our attention in a way that keeps us from reaching our destination?
We are all pilgrims, moving at some pace determined by the draw of our objective and by the tenacity of our obstacles. Where are you bound at the start this Lenten season? Are you moving toward a goal you hope for? Or do you find some fetters are frustrating your forward movement? Being honest about attending to our sins in Lent is about admitting to that which is helping or constraining us.
We are all pilgrims, and as Christ followers we are drawn toward that heart of love that has been beating since the dawn of time. We read this literature, attend to our church, keep up some form of spiritual practice all because of that love that still calls us to reach it; we yearn to be renewed by it, even and especially when we are fettered by other things. Our Lenten season reminds us that we are still so hopeful of our destination and yet still so hindered in our journey. We are both: still bound and still bound.
Pilgrims often comment on their return that the journey on the road was as fruitful as the destination, if not more so. The struggle of Lent is a 40 day pilgrimage to Easter. The journey, and the struggle through it, is as important as greeting the arrival of a resurrection destination. We are all pilgrims, journeying to a new Sunday where the heartbeat of love awaits. Let us not forget how essential the road is to our formation, too.
decor over a 5th century baptismal tub in Scythopolis