There are many definitions of the word “pilgrim”. Many people think of the group of people who sailed on the ship called the Mayflower. Others think of a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons. And there is of course the definition that says a pilgrim is a person who is journeying through life. There is a distinct difference between “existing” and “journeying” through life. A person who is a pilgrim lives a life that they examine, learn from and grow from. I try to be a pilgrim and not the version from the Mayflower.
Very recently, I was on a 10 day trip to Israel on a religious pilgrimage. It was with a group of 40 people all on their own religious journey. I am a Roman Catholic and it was incredibly meaningful for me to visit places that I had read about and talked about for most of my life. I could write at least 10 blogs on this topic – but that is for another time. But the journey that I was on also happened to be that of a journeying pilgrim.
This journey helped me to take time to examine things that I have said and done in my life. It also helped me to look at how I impact the lives of others in my daily life. I worked with someone once who saw a post it note on my cubicle wall. It read “Be Kind to Unkind People, they need it the most”. This person commented that I am always kind to people. I told him that I work hard to be, but being kind is also in how I think about things too. He told me that was too much work and was surprised that I do that. Looking back, I realize now that this was part of my “journey” as a pilgrim. That my thoughts matter as much as my words and actions.
When you are journeying through this day, remember that your thoughts matter. If you think something long enough, you will end us saying what you think. If you say what you think long enough, you end up acting on it. Those actions are what tell others what kind of pilgrim you have chosen to be.
Be a positive pilgrim.