I have moved a lot in the last 15 years, 9 times to be exact and three of those were different state moves. Those were certainly not in my plan, but God had a plan in each of those! So the title of this book Born To Wander ~ Recovering The Value of Our Pilgrim Identity by Michelle Van Loon, looked to be a good read for me and it was! Also one of my favorite hymns is about wandering, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love:
Take my heart, oh, take and seal it
With Thy Spirit from above.
Rescued thus from sin and danger,
Purchased by the Savior’s blood,
May I walk on earth a stranger,
As a son and heir of God.
So if you are a wanderer like me and/or know that this place is not our final home, then get this book. Michelle writes about pilgrimage from a Biblical perspective, showing how God’s people were (and still are somewhat) on a pilgrim journey, even when in exile. Michelle also shares some insights from her personal experiences, that were relatable to me. She writes, that those who are settled and comfortable have no real incentive to follow Jesus, and that is a great point! Here in the US we have become a people of comfort and crave rest, but that isn’t the example Jesus led.
Here are a couple quotes from the books:
Those steps away from our regularly-schedule ideas of what our life is supposed to look like uproot us from our state of exile. They pivot us toward pilgrimage. It is on that very journey into the unknown that Abram became Abraham and Simon became Peter. It is how we will become most truly ourselves.
Living with the “deep, strong, blessed restlessness” of the pilgrim can be an uncomfortable way to live. But it is far better than the alternative.
Godly contentment says “enough” instead of spouting Christianized versions of “I want more.” I appreciate the irony of Paul saying that godly contentment is the only “more” for which we should be aiming ” (1 Timothy 6:6).
Self-pity is the fruit of pride, which is the root of all other kinds of sins…Self-pity turns our story into a tragedy with no hope of redemption. It robs us of our belovedness. It makes exiles out of us.
The deserts in our lives are where we begin to discover how to follow God even when–especially when–our circumstances don’t make sense.
God doesn’t waste a single component of our experiences by asking us to forget. Remembering can be a holy activity.
No matter where I wander or on which side of the dividing line I find myself, my truest longing is for a place I’ve never been. This I know: I am far from home.
We Christian moderns emphasize the importance of owning and sharing our story. But the Song of Ascent remind us that our stories are hollow echos if they’re not centered on the One who is their author.
Tourists are searching for an experience. Settlers are looking for security. Neither desire is wrong, but if we allow experiences or security to determine our journey, we will remain wanderers.
Michelle did a wonderful writing job of sharing the Biblical stories and history in this book, as she focused on pointing to God and what we can learn in our everyday journey’s.