Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pilgrimage: a reflection

My wife and I recently took a pilgrimage in a unique way. A pilgrimage is a journey to a foreign place or a journey to a shrine or holy place as a devotee. The holy place we sought was a more intimate knowledge of God. We had three and a half weeks of vacation, many people to see, a desire for adventure and a desire to save money. So, after much prayer, thought and conversation we decided to hitchhike. Our conviction was that we would: meet God in a deeper way, grow closer together through an adventure, see family and friends, celebrate and boast in the abundant faithfulness of God. All of these things happened along our pilgrimage journey.

“How did we meet God in a deeper way by hitchhiking?” some of you may be asking. There is a principle in the kingdom of God that when we are in need we are close to God. The end of ourselves is the beginning of God’s mercy. Voluntarily putting ourselves in a place of dependency opened up a greater intimacy with God. It was kind of like being a child again. We were dependent on God through others for rides, shelter, food, etc. We experienced the faithfulness and goodness of God through the kindness of strangers. When we were tired, hungry and sore we were given rides, cold water and places to rest.

We had a very restful pilgrimage that strengthened our marriage. Being in a place of need together can be stressful but it can also be a freeing adventure that gives opportunity for strengthened communication. Dana and I spent lots of time together, prayed together more often and grow closer together through this trip. It reminded me of the times Jesus sent us his disciples by twos with nothing so they were dependent on the hospitality of strangers. Our society races towards self-dependency but Jesus taught us to resist this by living in dependency on God and one another. What is really more dangerous-the deception of luxury, comfort and having everything or being dependent on a loving faithful Father who provides everything for our enjoyment?

So, we traveled hundreds of miles through Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri and the total trip costs us nothing. We got rides from 7 strangers, had great conversations and overall a wonderful vacation.Thank you to everyone who gave us rides, gave us food and gave us places to stay. It was wonderful to see many of you and enjoy fellowship together.

We are excited as Source gears up for our fall/winter season. In this season we are excited for some new initiatives with homeless youth. Please pray for us as we try to meet these young people and gain their trust. There are around 1,850 people under 21 on the streets in Minnesota, most of them in the Twin Cities area. The Source staff have a heart to befriend these young people and offer any help we can.Thank you for your prayers and constant support of us.