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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We Are Going....


To truly be on a pilgrimage, one must be ready for the unexpected.  I and my traveling companions learned that in spades yesterday!  And the fun continues today.  We learned that everything on pilgrimage does not happen in the time frame in which one expects that it might.  Consider that we were to fly at 9:40 a.m. yesterday from SFO, and to arrive today at 1:15 pm Tel Aviv time.  Well, as I write this entry, I'm still in the good ol' US of A.  Sitting in New York's JFK Doubletree Inn (thanks to American Airlines).  To that end, we also learned that we may not end up where we thought we were going to be either.  Our original route was taking us to LAX and then a direct flight to Tel Aviv.  Instead, we are now in NY and will fly to Tel Aviv this evening at 7 p.m.  However, these are all things that happen to all people who travel with any frequency at all. 

What distinguishes a pilgrim is what that disruption and surprise creates within one's soul and what one notices while all of these snafus are occurring.  Yesterday, we learned over and over the graciousness of those who were trying to get us on our way.  One of our traveling companions was without cell phone in the airport, while waiting for the two of us to arrive.  She was able to borrow cell phones from perfect strangers who smiled at her and generously allowed her to use thier phones so that she could contact us and our travel agent in Decatur, GA.  Stacey was wonderful and gracious and sympathetic to our dilemmas.  She guided us to the next steps. 

Then we met Jackson, the AA ticket agent who spent time helping us along.  I also noticed people ahead of us who were certainly not carrying a pilgrim attitude.  It seems to me that when one takes all this in stride, the responses are much more accomodating.  Jackson helped us and we offered prayer for her and her colleagues. 

Then, when boarding this second arranged flight, I was alone in the final boarding group and met a young girl and her mom.  The little girl kept repeating, "destination, destination, destination."  Obviously parroting what one of the agents had announced to us over the intercom system.  I giggled to myself as I wondered if she was taunting me, or was it a mantra? as destination seemed to be such an elusive "place" in which to arrive.  Or is destination more of an attitude?  There seeemed to be no movement.  We weren't GOING anyplace or getting anywhere near our destination.  But what is that for me and for us?  It is said in pilgrimage that the journey IS the destination.  What happened and where we were yesterday was what was necessary, whether planned or even pre-ordained or not, it happened and we did not have a lot of control.  All we could do was respond.  Couldn't get there faster by being angry, upset, yelling at people or stomping our feet up and down.  Perhaps I need to carry this attitude with me EVERY day, not just when going on a trip halfway across the world! 

This reminds me of an old lesser known Simon and Garfunkel song, "Woyaya."  It just dawned on me that this must be some African tune.  If anyone knows the origin, please share:

We are going, heaven knows where we are going,
We'll know we're there.
We will get there, heaven knows how we will get there,
We know we will.

It will be hard we know
And the road will be muddy and rough,
But we'll get there, heaven knows how we will get there,
We know we will.

We are going, heaven knows where we are going,
We'll know we're there.

2 comments:

  1. Priceless... yes, you truly are on your the beginning of your pilgrimage! Love the journey thus far... blessings for the evening flight!

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  2. Amen..you seem to have on your traveling shoes and pilgrim spirit. look forward to more words from along the way.

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