Are You a Nomad, a Chameleon, or a Pilgrim?

Are You a Nomad, a Chameleon, or a Pilgrim?

It’s almost here.  The end of this year. Is that haunting question nagging at you? I wonder what’s next?

Change is inevitable but how do we prepare for it? Better yet, how does change change us?

There was a time when I didn’t want anything to change. I waited so long to be sixteen that I didn’t want my seventeenth birthday to come. I wanted  the carefree fun days of dating to be there after I married. For my babies to stay sweet and cuddly.

But I couldn’t hold on to those things.

There’s an Old Testament I love. It has rhythm and movement to it, yet it speaks of something that is constant. Unmovable. I think it holds the secret of how we deal with change.

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God…” ~Psalm 46:4a ESV

Hmmm, we must wonder. What river is that?

Over the past month we’ve been inundated with flagrant ads from political candidates vying for position at the polls, roller coaster finances, relationship issues with those we love most, and the subliminal undercurrent of circumstances that speaks a continuous unrest to the soul.

Disturbance, crisis, and trouble abound. Don’t they?

And yet there is something that doesn’t change. Something besides “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Something at the very core of our being.

Let’s read the rest of that verse:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High. ~ Psalm 46:4

Since the ripping of the temple veil, at Jesus’ crucifixion, we have become a holy habitation of the Most High God.

Like Paul said, Hey, don’t you get it yet? YOU are the temple. The Holy Spirit dwells here and He is unchangeable, immovable, stedfast, solid. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

The beautiful river that makes God rejoice is Christ in us. Once we learn to access the River of the Spirit inside, we’ve tapped into a source that supplies strength for every challenge.

Integrity is what happens when we learn to filter our outer lives through the river of our inner life. It’s the secret of staying well in your soul.

The moving river seems to speak of our journey through life. We encounter many passages and cross countless thresholds and, of course, we get stuck too. Life changes us but it is meant to change us in good ways – both for us and for those with whom we interact.

Think about this:

Nomads are on a journey, but it’s pretty much a journey to nowhere. They just move around a lot. They journey without being changed.

Chameleons, on the other hand, are all about the change. They change without journeying.

Pilgrims, however, are those who are transformed by their journey. Isn’t that who we want to be?

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage” Psalm 84:5.

The whole of Psalm 46 is about how to deal with great upheaval. Why not take a few minutes and read it now.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

It comforts us by saying that even if the edge of the United States should disintegrate into the oceans on either coast, or a great tsunami should restructure land masses, we have a refuge, a source of strength, an immediate and present help.

So how do we get there from here?

  1. By deciding to run to the refuge when things get tough. “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns” v.5.
  2. By remembering how God has worked in your life at other times. V. 8
  3. By becoming still so your heart can know God is here, right now, in the room. V. 10.

Learning to listen deeply and inwardly allows us to meet the outer world with our inner being because He within is greater than all that is without. It becomes an ongoing exchange that is fluid and circular. The river of life moving through us and making all things new.

Without pilgrims we’d never have Thanksgiving. They paid dearly to challenge the status quo and birth a new land of promise.

What change have you been resisting? Share your story with us and may you find courage to move forward on your own pilgrimage of the heart.


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