A pilgrimage is a journey taken to a holy place for religious purposes. I mention this definition to say that I’m sitting in the Tampa airport, beginning a pilgrimage to Israel along with 30 others from church. I’m pretty excited about it. Actually I am EXTREMELY excited, but I don’t want to sound like I’m rubbing it in that I’m going and you aren’t. Actually I don’t mind rubbing in it either…

My plan is to daily blog from our stops along the way – places like Jerusalem, Petra, the Sea of Galilee, and Newark.

If I understand what Jesus accomplished in His atoning death on the cross, then anyplace can be a holy place. To make a spiritual journey to holy places doesn’t require expensive airfare. The only requirement: opening our eyes to the sacred found in the everyday and the mundane.

I’m EXTREMELY grateful for this opportunity to walk the same roads as Jesus, to kneel and pray in the garden of Gethsemane, to imagine hearing the phrase “Follow Me” from the Galilean shoreline. But I also know that I have been extremely blessed to meet with Jesus in a coffee shop at the corner of Kennedy and Albany, to sense His nearness in a cool breeze while driving along Bayshore, to feel His embrace through the squeezes and neck-hugs from my kids earlier this afternoon.

Life itself is a sacred journey, a pilgrimage, when we look for God along the way.

And that’s what I encourage you to do – to join me in a sacred journey. If I experience His Presence in Israel as mightily and graciously as I have in the mundane of the day-to-day, I consider myself to be pretty blessed.

Now the real test of this pilgrimage is about to begin: Will I be able to experience God while riding coach?