Our world screams hyper-activity, uber-productivity, high energy, stress induced anxiety necessitating record breaking amounts of mood altering meds and magic pills. This world screams the values of wealth, comfort, convenience and excess as the recipe for happiness and fulfillment. The consumer-slavery model convinces you to create bills and debts to things you don’t need (but feel entitled to) so that every waking minute and second of your days exists to push coins in the direction of your creditors in the pursuit of this American Dream.
Here’s my problem with the American Dream: it’s not old enough. It might be the historian or the theologian in me, but I marvel at the primal connections of our forefathers/mothers who lived lives of deep community, deep meaning and deep mystery of old. I’m not interested in a life w/out air-conditioning, a cold space to keep my meat and proteins so they don’t spoil or without my Jeep but there are some simplicities I am interested in that I can learn from the past. Mostly that my life is not defined on things I produce which in turn give me value, but my life has value because of who I am and who I belong to. Primal community, I am who I belong to. I have value because the One who made me bestowed upon me value as his son before I ever ‘did’ anything in this world. I have value not by what I add to my community, but because of their deep love and affection for me.
I have a conversational relationship with the One I call ‘God’. I perceive him to be the God of the Ancient Scriptures, I access him through a divine connection with Jesus the Christ and his Spirit, I experience him to be the very Son of God having resurrected from the dead. By definition that puts his words and prompts in another category. I’ve been asking for a ‘word’ for 2018 and the one I hear back in my spirit is ‘Pilgrim’. I think the Spirit wants to lead me on a pilgrimage and wants me to perceive my circumstances as a pilgrim. This life, this world, is something I am just passing through. It doesn’t define me. If I don’t ‘crush it’ in 2018, it doesn’t take away from my primal identity and connection as a Pilgrim passing through. I am defined by who I belong to and what He is teaching me, not by anything that I am accomplishing.
Takes the pressure off and turns the joy up. Cheers to your Pilgrimage!
“But your loss brought you here to walk under one name and one name only, and to find the guise under which all loss can live; remember, you were given that name every day along the way, remember, you were greeted as such, and treated as such and you needed no other name, other people seemed to know you even before you gave up being a shadow on the road and came into the light, even before you sat down, broke bread and drank wine, wiped the wind-tears from your eyes; pilgrim they called you, pilgrim they called you again and again. Pilgrim.” – ‘Camino’, poem by David Whyte