Jibstay

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

From Tourist to Pilgrim

Last night Martha and I finished New Year's Day with a quiet walk along State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. Most of the shops were closed, a few restaurants were open and little clusters of tourists wandered along in the cool night air. One group of girls caught my attention because one girl had her cell phone glued to her head and said as we walked by "Yeah, Dad, can you believe it? I'm walking outside in Santa Barbara right now??" It was the wonder of a tourist from some cold place enjoying her last day of vacation before flying home to work and routine. Santa Barbara is a tourist destination location because of its costal beauty and temperate climate.
Last year I clearly was a tourist because each month was new for me. Each holiday was new. Each 'season' was a new experience and I called my friends back in the midwest with new discoveries. Being a tourist is really fun because our eyes are wide open to the new. Seeing new sights and new locations, tasting new foods and meeting new people is a kind of rush. We live on the adrenaline of first impressions and surface observations.
One can't go through life not being a tourist at different points and times. Whenever we venture into a new territory we are, by definition 'tourists' for a while. But it's really fun to morph from being a tourist into a pilgrim, one who walks slower and observes longer. A pilgrim is a journier who is not in a hurry, but is not a resident. A pilgrim is an intentional traveler, following directions, both at ease and restless. A pilgrim depends on the hospitality of the community for survival, while tourists pay their fees and get their services. Pilgrims build relationships while tourists build albums and mementos.
As 2007 begins for me as a believer, pastor, husband, father, friend, I acknowledge my pilgrim status and pray for God to guide my steps.

3 Comments:

At 3:32 PM , Anonymous Andy Larsen said...

Donn,
What a great post on the nuainces between tourist and pilgrim. I am on a similar journey here in Barcelona. I'm not sure yet if we have moved beyond tourist yet but i think we have, at least at a certain level. There is still much that is new to our present state but I'm looking forward to going deeper this year and trust some interesting discoveries will be made. Blessings on you. I'd like to have you as my pastor.

 
At 3:33 PM , Anonymous Andy Larsen said...

Donn,
What a great post on the nuainces between tourist and pilgrim. I am on a similar journey here in Barcelona. I'm not sure yet if we have moved beyond tourist yet but i think we have, at least at a certain level. There is still much that is new to our present state but I'm looking forward to going deeper this year and trust some interesting discoveries will be made. Blessings on you. I'd like to have you as my pastor.

 
At 5:29 AM , Blogger katie martinez said...

Donn. I've just published an essay/article on this topic-- as it relates to pilgrims and tourists in worship. The Narthex is a brief magazine published by the Young Pietists. I believe the article will appear in an issue they distribute at Midwinter Conference.

My article would have been much better, had I delved further into the nuances (of pilgrim and tourist) you have noticed. You'll see what I mean.

Thanks for this; and please don't think I'm a plagarist or, more accurately, "shameless idea thief".:)

Katie

 

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