We are forever in process, wrestling to narrow the gap between our ideal self and the self who is stuck checking off today’s To Do List. Many of us feel trapped by the status quo – some of us are moms changing diapers, working a job on the side and not feeling good about the way we’ve been forced to fragment ourselves. Others of us are men dreaming of being Indiana Jones, but stuck in a Walter Mitty job.
Yet, if we call ourselves “Christians,” we follow a man who called us to live differently. Jesus was always challenging those who would follow him.
Find your center each day. The world is toxic. You have to detox and recalibrate, coming back to your center. Create a space in your schedule and in your home where you can be quiet. Ask more questions about the “you” that you are becoming. Read the Bible. Write down your thoughts. Likely some of those thoughts will be from God.
Unplug. You need more quiet space in you life, not noise. Turn off the media. Plan a personal retreat. Ask God how you can get control of the noise in your life.
Audit yourself. Ask: “What do I desire?” Make a list of your long-term dreams. Compare it with Scripture. Show it to a trusted counselor. Review your checkbook. What Kingdom investments are you making? How do they compare with your other non-food expenses?
Love boldly every day. Surprise people. Ask God about how to do that. Then follow through.
Schedule a mission trip. We need to get away from our routine and serve others to find ourselves. Go on a pilgrimage back to a kingdom-focused life. Begin by just going to the other side of the tracks in your hometown. Befriend those who are different. Choose to be uncomfortable. Be an advocate for the poor.
This last one is especially important in the post-covid world where we have been hiding. We need a pilgrimage to get back to spiritual reality, to awaken our sleeping spirits. A pilgrimage can help you recalibrate your life. Let’s take a deeper look at it.
A pilgrimage gets you going
If you’ll take that inward look, my bet is that something inside you longs for a pilgrimage – a journey into the mystery of who you could become if only you weren’t trapped by the life you’ve built.
A pilgrimage is as much about leaving as it is about becoming. The status quo may not be killing us, but the gap between it and the person we imagine ourselves to be could place a demand on us to walk the plank and jump.
People go on a pilgrimage as a way of putting the humdrum self up for foreclosure and putting a down payment on the person they want to become. Lance Morrow calls the process of going on such a journey “the imperialism of the imagination” whereby you collect new ideas and experiences as you challenge established norms and forge new neural pathways. Morrow says you will feel your mind and spirit come alive as “meanings and dangers flow by like colors, like smells, the fluid nuances of place.”
As you dive into the process of becoming a radical Christ follower, as you commit to the wonder of discovery, your life will begin to become more interesting. Isn’t it time for discovery to become a more normal part of life?
You were made for more. And it will take a journey of many steps to get there. Of course the most poignant discovery along the pilgrim’s road is when you catch glimpses of the self you are becoming.