And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; beverlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isaiah 35:10 ESV
We said in the previous devotion that pilgrims travel light, letting neither reputation nor possessions weigh them down. We also said that for pilgrims, the long-view prevents the short-view from capturing them and obscuring their vision. Here are a couple of more things about pilgrims.
Pilgrims have very little investment in bricks and mortar. One of the things that can nail our feet to the floor is structures, whether physical or institutional. There was a man who had invested his life in becoming a bishop of his church. He had done everything right, climbing up the next rung of the ladder at just the right time. Everything was perfectly planned and perfectly carried out. But on the day when he should have reached the top rung, someone else was chosen. That day he left his wallet and his watch on the seat of his car and walked out to meet an oncoming train. He had given his soul to the pursuit of a soap bubble.
Pilgrims have a contagious enthusiasm. One of the things that fueled America’s westward expansion was that kind of enthusiasm. Historians speak of whole villages in rocky New England being almost depopulated because someone in the town caught the vision of those western lands with topsoil six feet deep, just waiting for a man and a plow. His excitement fired that of others, and in short order almost the whole town was on the road. Oh, but friends, we’re not talking about top-soil, we’re talking about The Celestial City – “Jerusalem the Golden, with milk and honey blest, beneath whose contemplation sink heart and voice oppressed.” Can you see that holy highway? Can you hear those ahead of us singing? Come on, pilgrims, let’s go!
What about it? Is your pack too heavy? Has the short-term blinded you to the long term? Have you invested so much in the structures of this world that your feet are dragging? Has your enthusiasm waned? Oh, lift your eyes! Can you see it there? It’s the City! Come on! What is there here that could possibly compare with that? Let’s go!