Donald C. Johnson writes in 1986 of visiting Pendle Hill in England where George Fox, whose revelation led to the founding of the Quaker movement (Religious Society of Friends), was said to have had his spiritual experience.
He said other pilgrims to the site had left a stone on the increasingly growing pile of rocks to show they had been there. A few years ago Ken and I visited Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau spent two years in a cabin contemplating life. We found such a pile of rocks there and left our own:
It was a moving experience to walk around the lake and imagine Thoreau's time there. Donald Johnson said of his experience at Pendle Hill, "Within the quiet, peace-filled mist on top of the hill, I began to feel a sense of connectiveness [sic] with those who had traveled up the hill before me and with those who would be in the future...In the solitude of our hearts each of us, wherever we are, has the opportunity to experience the gift of feeling connected with one another...."
|Pendle Hill in the mist|
I have been other places and seen little piles of rocks--beaches, overlooks off hiking trails....It seems we humans crave connectedness yet we tend to perpetuate a lifestyle and ideology that precludes it. Why is this? Perhaps it's because, as Marianne Williamson says in "A Return to Love": "People who have the most to teach us are often the ones who reflect back to us the limits to our own capacity to love..." We crave connectedness but we're afraid to face our own inadequacies so we just don't "go there".
Is that why Adam and Eve disobeyed God when confronted with the choice to gain the knowledge that the Tree of Life offered? Did they feel inadequate and wanted to be like God even though they had everything they needed? No wonder God says in order to come to Him we must humble ourselves. This, then, is the key to life. Thoreau thought to find it through living simply. That is a part of humility--to not live beyond your means and to get your priorities straight. For George Fox it meant loving even his enemies which meant he could not take up arms against them. What would humility look like in your life? What would have to change?
Father, may I look into my own heart and see what keeps me from seeking true humility--what stands in the way of my being able to connect completely with You and with others.
Link to scripture: http://niv.scripturetext.com/colossians/3-12.htm
Take action: The Art of Pilgrimage