Trudging : walking slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions

Sometimes pilgrimage feels like trudging. The way is rocky, wet, miserable, all uphill. Maybe the cold seeps into you little by little. Maybe the heat steals your strength. 

Maybe life piles on top of you, mounded up, too heavy to move. Filled with decisions and outcomes you may not have the power to move. The waiting is its own weight.

Whether you’re doing the mindful pilgrimage of the everyday or the long path across borders, it just feels hard to keep going. But you haven’t given up yet.

In the middle of it all, no end in sight, you’re trudging.


Trapped in Trudging

In fact, the most valuable thing about trudging is that you haven’t given up. You’re persevering.

Grit will get you through a lot and make you stronger.

This is where I’ve been recently. Life piles on, and I feel like all I can do apart from stopping is to go on carrying the load.

Little by little, more items are stacked onto the pile—some of them not rightfully mine. Some uncertainties in the hands of others, or destructive decisions loved ones insist on running toward. I can’t control them or will those circumstances into a different shape. 

But maybe I’ve turned that important perseverance into a journey that goes in circles.

Maybe I’m not supposed to carry all that load.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

—Matthew 11:28

There’s no virtue in holding onto a burden I won’t trust Jesus enough to give to him. 

It’s easy to fall into worry and a need to control, but when I do that, it’s a kind of idolatry. In a sense, I’m trying to be my own God—to control my whole world, assuming my will is the pinnacle. That I know best.

Even if I did—and I don’t—it’s futile to try to control things outside my circle of influence.

In the process, I lose sight of the journey’s destination and lose the peace and joy in the steps I’m taking. 

And yet there I am … still human. Sometimes unable to see the source of the light through the fog. Still trudging.

Still reaching.

Inspiration for the journey ...