I believe we are currently going through a sort of pilgrimage. The Mayflower pilgrims parallel our modern-day experience because, like our ancestors, we are trying to flee many of the same injustices that existed in 1620. We are now the dissenters; we are now the ones being persecuted for our beliefs and like the pilgrims, we are now afraid we are losing our culture.
I looked up the word “pilgrim” in the dictionary and this definition resonated in me:
A pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journeying (often on foot) to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system. In the spiritual literature of Christianity, the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage may refer to the experience of life in the world (considered as a period of exile) or to the inner path of the spiritual aspirant from a state of wretchedness to a state of beatitude.
Realizing the spiritual beauty we will experience when we transcend these times, I am trying to look toward the future. All of the darkness shall break at some point; all of the ‘clouds’ will part and the feeling of peace and happiness shall surpass all of the blackness that surrounded us.
No man or woman can steal our peace in the midst of all our turmoil unless we let them. No person or government can truly steal your joy if you refuse to let them.
Like the pilgrims, I will fight against tyranny still. I will keep my peace. I will have enemies of truth no matter which side I am on. The enemies of truth are still my enemies. The enemies of freedom are still to be fought. Envisioning myself as a pilgrim of sorts helps me keep perspective. No matter what happens I know I am on the side of good and righteousness and that God has my back.
Reading further about the Mayflower pilgrims, I saw many commonalities between present day and 1620. The only major differences are the clothes, appliances and the grocery stores; otherwise we have the same concerns about jobs, freedoms, and our rights.
“Concerned with losing their cultural identity, the group later arranged with English investors to establish a new colony in North America. The colony, established in 1620, became…the United States of America. The Pilgrims’ story of seeking religious freedom has become a central theme of the history and culture of the United States.”
“But after these things they could not long continue in any peaceable condition, but were hunted & persecuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were but as flea-bitings in comparison of these which now came upon them. For some were taken & clapt up in prison, others had their houses besett & watcht night and day, & hardly escaped their hands; and ye most were faine to flie & leave their howses & habitations, and the means of their livelehood.”
In his journals, Bradford cited Hebrews 11:13–16 about “strangers and pilgrims who had opportunity to return to their old country but instead longed for a better, heavenly country.”
From Hebrews 20: “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
So on Thanksgiving, this modern-day pilgrim will be busy cooking a store-bought turkey, making pies with frozen crusts, and adding Kahlua to the pumpkin and the pecan pies just for fun. Twice-baked potatoes, and salad, too.
And instead of our buckled shoes like the Mayflower pilgrims, I am opting for my shoes of peace. Instead of a long black dress with an apron front, I am wearing my robe of righteousness. This is an exercise in seeing the big picture instead of the futility. Attitude is everything in life and I refuse to lie down and die for any tyrants.
Modern-day pilgrims use modern appliances; just because I have them doesn’t mean I can’t relate to the Mayflower pilgrims fleeing religious persecution and harassment from King George.
So I pray all my fellow pilgrims are focusing on important things while they enjoy a day and tradition the original pilgrims started. We must focus on God and family this Thanksgiving and every day thereafter. Happy Thanksgiving, Pilgrims! God Bless you and no matter what happens to us externally, I hope we are all blessed.