It’s been two weeks now since I returned from the cycling pilgrimage and over a week since my last post. People have asked about the experience and I find myself saying repeatedly that it all feels like a dream. I have vague memories of it, but it feels buried in my subconscious in much the same way a dream does. Now that I am back into my normal routine I am having trouble accessing the memories, thoughts and potential implications of the pilgirmage. I am wondering what my voice is.
I do think it will re-emerge. I am preaching a sermon on October 23 titled, “Losing Our Religion”, that will pull heavily from my experiences and conversations along the road. I still have a two page sheet sitting on my desk with over 30 titles for articles/blogs on some of my discoveries about the state of religion, spirituality and church. In addition to that I keep hearing, “So when is the book going to come out?” I do find myself beginning to ponder whether there is something worth saying to a larger audience from this experience.
Still, right now, so much of it feels hidden behind a curtain–almost like to open it up will cause a clash of worlds and that still feels too scary and loaded with too heavy of a responsibility. It can’t stay hidden forever, however. I have all the blogs, the comments, the pictures, and my scribbled notes that will easily take me back to the feelings and experiences when I am ready to pull that curtain back again. Right now that feels overwhelming.
Quite honestly, I am writing today just to force myself to open that curtain just a crack and see if I can muster the courage let this pilgrimage continue to unfold. I know this is not over. I had the daily experiences on the road, but I can feel a whole new stage of reflection and discernment inviting me to engage once again. I feel like I need to muster up the same courage that I used to mount the bike each morning and face whatever gifts and challenges the day might bring.
I have retreated temporarily, but it can’t last. So I am opening the curtain just a crack and hoping it’s safe to come out and play again!