Allison Duber, CVV 23, went on a pilgrimage this past summer with five other CVV alum. The pilgrimage was 1000 miles walking from Rome to Marburg over 58 days! Can you imagine what that would be like? Read her beautiful reflection below to get an idea of her transformative experience on the pilgrimage.
There are 10 days left of this pilgrimage and I am finally understanding what Job was talking about when he said, “For we were born but yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow.”
Everyday in pilgrim land goes by so fast. By the time I make it to the church, it is time to unpack my bag, wash up, clean my clothes, eat dinner, and set up for bed.
The constant movement from when I wake up in the morning until I lay down at night has made it too easy for my brain to squish days together and forget what even happened an hour ago.
There is so much seeing and doing and meeting and exploring and processing and never enough time to let it all sink in. There is really nothing to hold on to except the memory at the end of each day.
I am a passing shadow to whoever I meet.
I am there and then I am not.
It pains me that I cannot stay as long as I want in villages, but being a pilgrim is not about being a tourist. Ann told me that tourists come to see what he/she wants to see and a pilgrim comes to see what is there…end of story.
And I love meeting new friends here, but it can only be brief. I am not granted the gift to continue the friendship after that moment. It is temporary.
I remember back to the first couple days of this pilgrimage and how daunting it was to realize there were hundreds of miles ahead. It was like I was just learning how to walk.
But it has taken me this long to realize that this pilgrimage IS NOT ABOUT THE WALKING.
Ann always says that a silent pilgrim does the world no good. When we meet people along the way, she encourages us to tell them about our pilgrimage, where we are going, and why we choose to walk. If we do not share what we are doing to other people, then what’s the point?
Being on pilgrimage has taught me that everything I do here can translate into my life when I get back home. When I meet people at home, I can share who I am and my purpose for what I do and it just makes connection with other people so much richer.
Although it has taken me a while to understand a lot about myself and the world during this pilgrimage, I do not want to get to the end of my life and finally understand.
I want to get it now and live fully alive and not miss a beat. I am already 24, one year away from 1/4 of a century. My life is going by so fast, and I do not want to waste it.
I need to do the things that scare me and not be afraid of failure. If this trip has taught me anything it is that there is really no way to get lost if I keep moving.
I just have to remember:
No place will ever feel like a true home until heaven.
No friendship or relationship will ever give me full and lasting satisfaction until I’m with my Father in heaven.
Throughout my years, I definitely have had temporary times of amazing happiness, joy, and peace. But it does not always last forever and that is okay. This time on earth is only but a shadow, so what are we gonna do with it?