Friday, July 22, 2016

A pilgrimage

 Last Saturday, my family and I began a journey. We set out on a drive to Delafield, Wisconsin with a lay-over in Kansas City to visit my sister and brother-in-law. It's a long drive (about 19 hours total), but rarely boring.

I’ve made the trip several times between South and North driving back and forth to and from seminary, and from the Mississippi River to the West coast (once along a Southern route through Arizona and up the California coast and twice along a Northern route across Montana). I’m always moved by the experience. This is such an amazing land that God has entrusted to us!

I love the rolling hills of the Iowa farm country with mile after mile of tall green corn fields planted in neat sections. I bet anything would grow there. I love the plains. I could see "mountains" off in the distance when driving through Oklahoma. Wisconsin is so delightful. It looks like a postcard. When we were driving into Madison at dusk, there were swarms of fireflies along the highway. It was like a journey through space.

Coming back to seminary is also like a journey through time, coming to a place where time is always marked and sanctified by prayer, and yet where time seems to stand still. It is a place where things are ever old and ever new. I'm grateful to be here.

On Saturday, I also received a call to pastor a new congregation. It was difficult to be away from my people at that time and let my wardens break the news. When I return, the pilgrimage will have to continue. There is much work to be done (but then, there always is). I don't like saying good-bye. And I don't like moving. But I'm also excited and challenged by the new work that lies ahead. My prayer is that God will be with me along the way, keep me focused, and bless others through me.

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