As I followed my daughter-in-laws blog of their journey, I learned that although rewarding, their travels were not always easy. They were struck with fatigue, pain and blisters along the way, not to mention a touch of tendinitis that my son had to deal with. At times they had to adjust their pace -- setting a tone that would allow them to finish the course. They had to know when to keep going and when to stop. The pain seemed well worth it to them, however, as you listened to them talk about the joy of the experience.
It all made me think -- do I have joy from my experience or do I sometimes set my pace at such a speed that I am too exhausted to appreciate the journey?
This winter I decided to take a step back and go on my own "pilgrimage". Did I find somewhere to escape? No, but I did learn to stop. I decided to take some time for me, my thoughts and my God. There were days I refused to succumb to the pressures of life and spent time in quiet reflection. I took time to read, to think, to pray, and yes even to nap. I had my own pilgrimage of sanctuary and soul searching. Was my winter without stress and struggles? No, but I took time in the midst of it all to search God and find the strength to make it through. Did I finish each day with a checked off list of accomplishments? Again that would be no, but what I do have is so much more rewarding. I am feeling refreshed and more at peace. Despite the pressures life sometimes throws at us, I can carry on and experience joy along the journey. We must not be afraid to stop!