There are a few things that I am sentimental about, that tug at the strings of my heart every time that I see, or even think about them — a house on the corner of N. 38th and L in Fort Smith, the old building on Midland Boulevard in Fort Smith where the church of Christ once met, a little house on Baggett street in Springdale, Hulett Hall on the campus of York College, a couple of churches in Alabama and one in Texas, a few things that belonged to my parents, and same items that remind me of when our children were small. Most of those place are not because of the buildings, or the value of the items; but because of the memories of the people that go with them. Some of those places I have not seen in years ( have not been back to York College, since the fall of 1971). There are some of those places that I need to go soon, because there are people that I care about that are aging (as I am) and may not be in this life much longer.
Those places that I would like to make a pilgrimage to — York College (some of my classmates are now president, faculty, and staff); Rogersville, Alabama (where I did my first full time local work); and Winters, Texas (where I grew the most as a minister). I plan on being in Winters, one Wednesday in September (2016), while at the Abilene lectures; but I don’t know if and when I will ever make the other two (have made it to Rogersville, twice, since this was originally written).
But, you know, if I never get to make those other trips, it will be alright. I was reminded this morning in my reading, that I am on a pilgrimage that is far more important.
Psalm 84:5 (CSB), Happy are the people whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
I understand that this passage is talking about the Jews, who are in captivity and desire to “pilgrimage” back to the city of Jerusalem. That they want to go back to the city where God dwelt among His people, and see if they can find the joy and happiness that they once had. WE are on a “pilgrimage” through this life, to a place that is prepared for the people of God; a heavenly home in the presence of our God.
Hebrews 11:13-14, 16 (CSB), These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance,greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. … But they now desire a better place — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Let’s all be sure that our path on this pilgrimage is sure. That we find our strength for the journey in the Lord. That we set or hearts to seek those things that are above. That we long to live forever in the presence of our God. Peace.
(This was first posted on Facebook, July 22, 2016; and it has been updated and edited for this site. It is being posted here as a continuing part of our “Psalms on Saturday” series. It is my prayer that it will be a blessing for you in your walk with the Lord. It is being posted on Friday night, because tomorrow starts out busy early in the morning, and will be most of the day; so to be sure that it got posted, we did it tonight. Bill)