“Pilgrimage must always look to the future goal otherwise the clamour of the contemporary will all but drown out the eternal. This will work in two ways. The everyday will become filled with literally eternal significance because everything we say, do and are will be part of our pilgrimage and our spirituality. Indeed the more we are devoted to the eternal city the harder we will try to pay as full a part as possible in the matters of the world. On the other hand the eternal world will cease simply to be something in the far distant future and will become an increasing reality in our every day lives. We will become increasingly attuned to the reality of God and what He is preparing for us.”
This quote from Travelling Hopefully: A Spiritual Pilgrimage by Robert Fyall really impacted me this morning. We are getting ready to work with Livability here in the UK and I have been working on updating my presentation on Shalom. The future of God with the inbreaking of a world of justice, abundance and health for all is a very real and anticipated reality for me though sometimes I am distracted from this vision by the busyness of my life.
I believe the bond that should hold us together as God’s people is this vision of shalom and the knowledge that we are working towards God’s new shalom world. Our acts of service – healing the sick, setting the oppressed free and preaching the good news of the Gospel are all aimed at this goal of bringing God’s future into being.
Fyall goes on to add some other important thoughts that I want to conclude with:
There are many times on pilgrimage when situations like this occur; we have, we believe, been called by God and yet he has led us into a cul-de-sac. We do not see how he can meet our need so be panic and we blame others, we blame circumstances, and our vision fails
It is vision in fact which is vital at moments like these. Vision is not seeing what is not there, vision is seeing ALL that is there. The thirst was real, the desert was real, but so also was the presence of God. The difference was that the presence of God was discerned only by the eye of vision. The letter to the Hebrews, speaking of Moses, captures this in a wonderful phrase: He persevered because he saw him who is invisible (Heb 11:27) It is not that thirst can be conjured away but rather that the resources to meet it are there but not yet visible.” (37)