Saturday, January 15, 2011
Every Sunday in the liturgy we pray, "and we too, who are sojourners in this place, keep us in Your faith, and grant us your peace unto the end..." Lately, I've been feeling that "the end" is not as far as we'd like to think. I keep thinking that even if we all lived until the age of 99, it is still such a tiny fraction compared to eternity. So are we really living as pilgrims and strangers on this earth or have we settled here?
This week in our women's Bible Study, as we study the Psalms of Ascent, we study the idea of pilgrimage- what it meant for the Jews in the Old Testament and what it means for Christians today. Our study touched upon a subject that has been coming up (literally) several times a day for the past few months- fellowship in our pilgrimage. When we pray in the liturgy, we say "and WE too who are sojourners..." not, "and I too who am I sojourner". Unfortunately, technology, "busyness", and the American ideal of being self-reliant and self-sufficient has caused many of us to take on this pilgrimage...alone.
Our enemy Satan loves to keep us isolated from one another because he knows there is power in number and united spirits. We had such a deep discussion about how our lives have evolved to be so busy yet so shallow. We partly blamed technology (facebook, texting, and e-mail), and we also blamed ourselves for being sucked in to all of it.
The bottom line is that it is up to us to make a deliberate effort to encourage one another on this brief journey to the Life that is waiting for us. Too many people stop their journey short or are discouraged to even begin because they don't want to be alone. It is true that God sometimes ordains seasons in our life to be alone so that we can deepen our relationship with Him, but there is no excuse for the self-centered lives that we have become slaves to.
These are my very simple and practical solutions for now (and believe me, they will be the most challenging for me!):
1) Stop texting so much and actually pick up your phone to call someone!
2) Invite people over your home...often.
3) Stop using facebook walls to tell your "friends" how much they mean to you or how much you want to see them- call them or tell them in person!!