There are many things to consider when setting out on a pilgrimage. If you have any doubt, look through our Two Minute Tips to see answers to some frequently asked questions. While we are ready to go through a packing list, make several calls, and check in to flights online, how prepared are we to experience what God has called us to on pilgrimage? There are two simple (not easy, but simple) things that you can do to exponentially improve your enjoyment of your trip, which will also open the space for Our Lord to work in your heart while on pilgrimage.
Semper Gumby: Always be Flexible
Flexibility is foreign to most of us. We expect things to work as they should. When the power goes out, we stress until it is restored. When the car doesn’t start, we fret until it is fixed. When we travel, we expect everything to go exactly according to plan. But, flights get delayed. Busses arrive at the wrong terminal. Restaurants close on days they are supposed to be open.
These challenges are like windstorms, and we are like trees in those storms. If we are too rigid, we will blow over and fall if we don’t explode first. If we can remain flexible, the storms will blow over and around us, and we will happily stand when they are through.
Flexibility is the secret to traveling well. If you can find the opportunity in a delay or the bright side of a missed connection, you will be more emotionally prepared to see and accept a new path to your destination. And it may just take you down a path that leads to the most fantastic view.
Let Go and Let God
The second part of flexibility for the pilgrim is allowing God the space to work amid challenges while you remain flexible. If you can let go of trying to control every detail and let God work for your good, THAT is when you can experience the true power of pilgrimage.
Sure, a delayed flight is frustrating, but if you let go of trying to control the airline’s schedule (which none of us can do), you might find God is working in the space between now and the next flight. Perhaps He has given you the time to pray for someone or is offering you the opportunity to share your faith with a new and unexpected friend. Maybe that lost bag is His way of proving that you can trust Him with all your needs, big or small. The key is to let go and let God work.
Putting it All Together
Synergy happens when you let go of what you can’t control, let God work in that space, and remain flexible for what happens next. Those seemingly small actions can lead to massive effects; and a more fulfilling experience of seeing God work while you are on pilgrimage.
Let go and let God.