Pastors and program staff members were on retreat the past two days—planning, assessing, having some strategic conversations. My Sr. Pastor opened our time together with a poem from Macrina Wiederkehr (from her collection, Seasons of Your Heart) titled “Tourist or Pilgrim”. It’s a reflection about finding one’s way to their true heart, their deep truth, their soul—whatever you want to call it. The images present a questing person who finds themself forever a tourist, but longing for home. The reality of journey cannot be avoided, however, and the truthful, life-giving, home-leading posture is to embrace a pilgrim experience. This is the way to the “holy ground of home” (italics original). A tourist is forever away from home but not necessarily on the way there. A pilgrim is traversing a foreign place at present, but is on a path that leads someplace. According to the poem, that place is home.
Of many lines that spoke to me, the one that resonated most deeply with me was one that repeated twice. Here’s the version that is at the close of the poem:
Do you want to go home?
There’s a road that runs
straight through your heart.
Walk on it.
This is the deep truth of calling, purpose, significance. This is the quest ever with me.