Friday, 24 July 2009

The British Pilgrimage

Day 1

And so it begins......

A ten day Pilgrimage around Britain. Some good ideas behind it really - that it would help British people rediscover the best parts of our nation's heritage, be an inspiration/challenge to those that come and others they hang out with to follow God & make a difference, and a chance to take people (specifically young people) out of their natural environment to discover more of who they really are. Sometimes it's hard being at home whilst trying to figure that out - we tend to keep each other trapped in expectations, our own immovable world view and patterns of (often unhealthy) behaviour. Not a bad plan then. They say that a tourist passes through the land whilst a pilgrim lets the land pass through them.

Cliche it may be but the theory is sound. We either filter new experiences and growth through who we already are and just reinforce something that already exists, or let ourselves be impacted, affected and ultimately recreated by the journey we take. In this particular case: a journey with 11-ish others (a bizarrely biblical number quite by chance) around Britain visiting places and lives of Christian significance and takign part in local mission. And whilst the places we're visiting might not be the ones you'd necessarily expect you'll understand why cathedrals and exciting or famous places aren't on the list. We are, after all, more interested in places and people who have actually done something. Faith without action as the book of James tells us, is dead. In fact: it's worth than dead. It's a joke and a slap in the face of what God came to do for us and calls us to. Which is why we spend half of our time being involved with local mission.

You can, after all then, keep your Christian excitement and hype. People live in the day to day real world.

My real world currently feels like someone is setting off depth charges with little regard for the repurcussions. More immediately distressing is the fact that I appear to have forgotten my razor and toothbrush and at 11:14 on a Friday evening I'm very hungry. Whilst I may end up spiritually fed over the next 10 days my slightly dodgy stomach (endoscopy to follow pilgrimage) tells me that I may not be so well physically fed or relaxed. Not to mention the prospect of beginning to look like a wannabe member of a Bee Gees tribute band.

Today's best quote: "I've never had so much gaelic accordian" - narrowly followed by Andy Prosser's "proof that big isn't necessarily always better"