The Pilgrim's Course

Many years ago I began learning about an archetypal cycle and universal principle that is manifested in many great stories such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and most Louis L'Mour novels.  This cycle and pattern is described nicely in A Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Cambell, The Dreamgiver by Bruce Wilkinson and The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyon.  At the time, it didn't really sink in.  

Several years later, after receiving Divine direction that I was to share The Hebrew Way, I began an intense search and began asking serious questions in my mind and heart about many things.  As I asked questions in the House of the Lord in which I worship, as well as through the Word of God, and went forward with diligent effort searching by study and by faith - reading many classics, as well as scripture, I recognize that I began receiving the answer through my small and simple discoveries.

It was the same time when I began gathering the classic stories and articles I list here on this blog.  Articles Describing this Course & Literature Showing this Course.  I was trying to describe what this "Hebrew Way" was.  I recognized these stories and speeches, even our life journey and story, were describing this cycle and pattern of living.  



One day, as I was studying the Book of Mormon with a friend, we noticed a list which is similar to 2nd Peter.  Now when you find a list in the scriptures, remember, that it is a clue of something very important.  In Second Peter chapter one, Peter is revealing to us how to receive our calling and election sure and he is giving us a list in which we may "escape the corruption in this world" and "add to our diligence and faith, virtue and to virtue knowledge," etc.  As I had been trained, I began reading the context of that scripture.  I read the verses after, and then before.  When I flipped the page over to read the beginning of that chapter, and the chapter before, low and behold, I had drawn a circle on the verses at the beginning of the chapter.  I remember this certain phrase kept jumping out at me as I studied over that previous couple years and when I found it, "the course of the Lord," I drew a circle.  I made a very loud -I'm having an epiphany-kind-of-sound as I said, "It's not a line, it's a circle!!"  The list is revealing to us a Course!   

I knew this "Course" was best illustrated by the lives of those in the Bible, like our For-Father Abraham and wanted to identify it with him, the first known Pilgrim, not with the Greek Mythical - Hero's, as in The Hero's Journey.  Although I knew, it's all the same cycle and pattern, I really wanted to identify it to the law from which I knew it belonged, not something which could be confused as a counterfeit.  So I began calling it The Pilgrim's Course

Over that year, I searched for as many of these circles as I could throughout the scriptures.  I saw this cycle, pattern, principle or Course everywhere!  I gathered some literature showing this Course and eventually saw that this discovery was a huge answer to my diligent questions.  

HUGE.

You see, the definition of a Pilgrim is a wanderer who has a temporary residence on earth.  He is on a journey and Course of human life in efforts to return home.  This Course doesn't only have to apply to the entire life, it can be applies to every single day or hour as the Earth rotates and the Sun rises and sets.  So this Course or cycle, however you want to view it, is a truth on the macro scale or micro scale.  It is universal to all and specific to each individual and experience.  That's how God's Laws work.   We Pilgrim's travel this Course over and over, daily, weekly, yearly and over our lifetime.   How many times in your life do you find yourself needing to learn the same lessons, but from different people and situations?  How many times do you find yourself needing to be more humble, teachable and more submissive to God?  We can find we get to cycle through learning again and again. 

Do you see your life with this top-of-the-mountain kind of view?  That you are away from home and traveling on a journey trying to return?  Or, that each new day is a gift to begin anew with humility and gratitude?

These patterns surround us.  They are everywhere.  If we are observing and exploring, if we are asking, we can see it.  If you want to understand more fully where you are in this Course and how you can progress through the traps or roadblocks which surely come, try observing in the one of the Books: the Old or New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, or even the Bhagavad Gita or the Koran.  You will see this course over and over.    


My favorite example of a Pilgrim is Abraham.  He was one of the only true and faith-full members of his family.  His father literally tried to sacrifice him on an alter to a false god.  He was protected and fled from his home into a strange land.  He came to a place called Hebron, which may be one reason why he is called the father of the Hebrew's though his descendants through his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, are today called the House of Israel or the Tribes of Israel.  His family was large and they wandered from here to there as need arose.  He greatly influenced the whole Egyptian nation; their technology, history, methods of understanding the heavens, etc.  His efforts and sacrifice to be true, brought him great promises.  Eventually, when he was 100 years old, his son was born under the law of birthright and he and his wife were promised that through their seed all the earth would be blessed.  

Another example I love is Maria Von Trapp.  She was raised in an Atheistic home and after having her own experiences contemplating her life she slowly developed a relationship with her Creator.  One day she found herself at the top of a mountain and committing to her God that she would never turn back.  From that point on she went forward no matter what the circumstances.  Even when her and her family found themselves in America with many little children and homeless.  She trusted in that unseen hand which always lead her along.

                                                      
William Wilberforce's life is another great example of this course.  His story shows the power of recognizing who we are and what we are to do while we are sojourning in this existence.  He developed a relationship with his Creator early on in his life and then began to fight courageously to end the slave trade in the British Empire.  In his journal entries he accounted his efforts to share his love of his God with the many people he met.  It was this motivation and love from within which gave him the power to act and work tirelessly for over 30 years to free the slaves.  

Where are you on the Pilgrim's Course? What is your story?  Observe and Explore these stories and others.  I am sure you will see yourself in a story somewhere.  

Find it.  Ask and discover it.  




Watch here to experience this pattern in the Sermon on the Mount and 2 Peter as I teach parents of my Commonwealth Community.  Open The Word and come along with me.