Friday, June 5, 2015

Pilgrimage: Enjoying the Journey

North Shore of Lake Superior

This summer I hope to go backpacking along the north shore of Lake Superior. It has been four years since I’ve done a trip like this—I have really missed it!
Key to any hiking trip—whether for an afternoon or several weeks camping in the wilderness—is enjoying the whole event. You have to enjoy the process. That includes preparing and packing, traveling to your entry point, hiking through sun and rain, setting up camp, as well as just taking it easy at the campsite.
In the past, I’ve been on trips with whiners—that is no fun! They only want to hang out and go swimming; then they whine when meals need to be cooked and dishes wait to be washed, let alone make a difficult day’s hike.
The reality is that hanging out at camp is only a small fraction of the whole trip. Most of the time is spent hiking, setting up and tearing down. You have to enjoy all of it, else it is not worth heading into the wilderness. Of course there are parts of the process I enjoy more than others. Yet, from the time I began camping in high school, I determined to savor the whole trip—including the painful parts.
The Christian Pilgrimage is very much like a backpacking trip. There are wonderful mountain top “highs” and there are difficult and painful challenges. I’m still learning to embrace all of life like I embrace camping trips. Inside I tend to be too much of a whiner, even though I know that I grow through the difficult times.
My hope is that as I go backpacking this summer, it will be a “refresher course” on enjoying the journey so that I can apply it to my life-long pilgrimage with the Lord.

© 2015 Glenn E. Myers

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