And we’re off! Minneapolis to Amsterdam to Edinburgh.
Framing this travel as a pilgrimage means I’m trying to pay attention to what God is doing in us, through us and around us. I know that one of the things that can shift my attention away from God’s presence is WORRY.
Jesus told us not to worry and, using one of his pointed questions, helps us to remember how useless worry is: “And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” Great question. But somehow I keep on worrying.
As we start out on our travel, here’s a thought provoking quotation from Sellner’s book , Pilgrimage: “While pilgrimages may result in encounters with the sacred, they can also be painful journeys into the unknown. We may be far from family and friends and all those things that give us a sense of self-worth and identity. This is an experience of being in the wilderness, of being betwixt and between. Pilgrims may be filled with excitement and hope. But they also may be filled with anxiety; they may worry about safety or their ability to adapt to a strange new environment. Pilgrims cross a threshold and enter a new dimension, a liminal, perhaps dangerous, place.”
Truly there is much that could go wrong. There’s the small things like the airlines losing luggage. There are medium worries like ill health. And then there are big worries that seem less likely but potentially life threatening: terrorism.
One thing I have learned as an experienced worrier is that the things I worry about most often don’t come true.
But other things do go wrong….When we were traveling in Turkey, the power went out in our AirBnB and we had to find another place to stay for a few days. I would never have thought to worry about that! But somehow it all worked out.
So as we leave today with 19 students in our care I will keep Jesus’ realistic words in mind: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” God has a way of helping us through every day. Trust in God and depend on him to show up.