Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More on the Sojourney

I named my blog "Sojourner" because that's what I feel like. The Bible tells us that Christians are aliens and strangers in this world. We are, like Abraham of old, strangers in a strange land. This is not our home.

I like the idea of being on a Sojourney, but I have missed something. I should say that I am missing something. I also realized that I named the blog Sojourner for the wrong reasons. It struck me today as I was looking at art for the website.

I spend a lot of time alone by necessity. I read. Reading is something that you mostly do alone. I write things as well. I write for the blog, the Church, and for myself, and for ThirstySoul. Another thing that I do is think. I turn ideas over and over and over in my head, examining ideas as if they are diamonds. I check every facet for clarity and purity and value. It consumes time, and I believe that it can breed loneliness and depression if one is not careful.

That is why I imagined myself as a nomad of sorts. I am a Thought-Wanderer, traveling down the worn paths of the thoughts of dead theologians and philosophers. I am tracking them to see where they were going and what they were doing, and how their thoughts brought about change...for good or for ill.

I sometimes follow too far. Not because I wind up in theological error. Not necessarily. I follow too far because I go alone. At least, that's how I thought you were supposed to do things. I go up to my office, chase down greater men's thoughts, and then I capture their thoughts in sermons. It's like Moses coming down from the mountain with a shining face. I meet with God through the study of the Bible and the contemplations of holy men, and then I bring those thoughts to the people.

But that's not the whole story. What struck me as I looked for pictures of "nomads" and "travelers" and "sojourners" is that they all looked so lonely. They were often overwhelmed by the landscape in which they walked. Small figures that dotted the scenery surrounding them, barely significant by comparison. The thoughts of the Bible and great men often engulf me like that, and I become a gnat in my own mind.

What I was missing were other people. I am not the only alien around, and I am finding that through conversation (scary word these days) with fellow brothers who are still living helps me not only understand more quickly, but it makes the scenery more pleasant.

Indeed, we are pilgrims and sojourners, but we were not made to walk alone. We need companionship. We desperately need one another. We need to laugh and hear others laugh. We need to hear other people's thoughts and dreams. We need to eat pizza and grill burgers and tell stories and watch games together. We are a community of pilgrims, and I believe that pastors rot on the vine because they forget this in their offices.

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