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Ya-huh, Pil-grim!

Sorry.  My very best John Wayne sounds better (not really) than it appears in writing.

Our fifth Journey To Adulthood (J2A) Pilgrimage group from Grace is readying to leave Thursday morning for Washington State.  The theme of their journey is the "Fill-In-The-Blank" Tour.  Like most 14- and 15-year young people, they can be indecisive from time to time.  So they've opted to let the Spirit carry them wherever they go, into whatever they do, in any way, shape or form.  So, basically, they're making it up as they go along.  And that's okay.  

Heart Of My Heart and I met with Pilgrim Numero Uno (#1, the big Kahuna, Master Planner, and Logistician extraordinaire) last Saturday to brainstorm over lunch some 'fill-in-the blank' activities should the Spirit be willing but the flesh be weak in the younger ones (or even the older ones). We came up with some cool stuff, not all of which they will likely do, but they have options now (part of that 'choices & decisions' stuff).  Unfortunately, I was crass enough to tell P#1 this would be the first pilgrimage without HOMH or me or both of us along for the adventure.  Yeah, that was helpful. Oh Shut Up!  But A will be fine, and all shall be well.  I know I'm just a little sad we're not going with them because we love this stuff!

Today during my morning walk, I realized I was wearing my T-shirt memento from our initial pilgrimage to the Southwestern United States (NM & AZ).  A, HOMH and I were the three 'grups' (grown-ups) to accompany four girls and three boys.  The official theme of that first journey was "The Spirit in US."  It ultimately included a long train trip out, two separate mini-vans with walkie-talkie communications while putzing around, and a delayed flight back home.  Like many outings, this one developed a silliness to it along the way, so the unofficial name was the "Crazy Like A Fox" Tour.  My shirt purchase came as we navigated through the Hopi Nation Reservation and stopped at the Hopi Silver Arts & Craft Shop on the Second Mesa (AZ).  The front has a stylized Indian feather with various symbols for nature, rain, crops and harvest.  The back is a map of the three Hopi mesas and villages.  The scripture which carried us forth came the prophet Nehemiah: "Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert" (Neh 9: 19).  

The second J2A group went to Rome (A & HOMH), the third to Scotland (A & me), and the fourth to Germany (HOMH only).  My memento from the Scotland pilgrimage was a small engraved prayer stone from the isle of Iona.  That, being a place of my ancestry, was very special and moving for me, and most definitely a 'thin place where God is very near".  I truly hope I can return someday and take Heart Of My Heart with me.

We are all on the Pilgrims' Way.  Now and Always.  Seeking to know God more completely.   Wanting to connect with God more fully.  Hoping to better understand our own faith and to learn to articulate it with others.  To 'Go Out into all the World and Preach The Gospel'.  May God's disclosure of Himself and His Truth be known to each and every one of them on their pilgrimage.  As the "Fill-In-The Blank" Tour prepares to journey out, please pray for: Stephen, Christina, Sloane, Julia, Lauren, Ben, Heather, Mitchell, Erin, Skye and their adult leaders Alison, Robbie, Ashley and Bill.  They travel from June 25th through July 5th.