Every walk we take with God can be like a mini-pilgrimage. Some of us will have the opportunity to go on long walks across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, or to/through Jerusalem, or another pilgrimage location. But for most of us, our “pilgrimages” will be the walks we take through our own hometowns. Even places that we have made our way past a thousand times can become new when we walk with our eyes open to see what God is up to in our world *right now*, on *this* little pilgrimage. So, sometime this week, consider making a “pilgrimage” to somewhere within walking distance, for you (even if that’s your next-door neighbor). Before you set out, consider what you are holding right now—what are the questions, the worries, the wonderings, the longings you are aware are swirling around in your soul? As you take your steps out into the world, take this question or longing with you, to hold with God in the course of your walk. If nothing emerges as a starting point for your walking-and-praying, consider taking a cue from the 19th century Russian pilgrim who wrote “The Way of a Pilgrim,” and repeat the “Jesus Prayer” (“Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.”) as you walk along. Taken from the words of the gospels, this prayer became a refrain that allowed the pilgrim to enter into a practice of praying without ceasing as he wandered the Russian countryside. As you walk—holding either this prayer, or whatever question or intention arose for you—keep a posture of attentiveness, to both the world around and the world within. Notice things with God as you go. And return often to whatever prayer (whether the Jesus Prayer, or your own questions and longings) is grounding you as you go. What is this experience like, for you? How is it different from other times you have walked the exact same paths? How is it the same? What surprises you? What is familiar? As you return home from your mini-pilgrimage, take some time to journal or talk with God about whatever has come up.

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2022-07-19 14:06:41 UTC