Read Genesis 12:4-9
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. 9 Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev. (NLT)
It is interesting to note that the faith we hold had its beginnings not only in a garden but in a desert pilgrimage. Out in the middle of nowhere, God told an obscure nomad to move on to a new area. Out of that journey would come a people and a land. And also a faith. It was a journey that didn’t have a preplanned itinerary. Abram didn’t actually know where he was going and only barely knew who was giving him his marching orders.
While we are not in the same historical situation as Abram, we too are on the move. We are urged by God to continue our journey, never entirely sure of its nature or its immediate destination. We can only be sure of its ultimate destination. We can only be sure our guide knows what he is doing.
There is a difference between a mere wanderer and a pilgrim. A wanderer may be on the move but not have a purpose or a direction. A pilgrim is someone on a journey that does have purpose and direction even if it is not always apparent.
As we dedicate and rededicate our lives to Jesus each day, we can be spared from aimless wandering and instead be assured we are on a pilgrimage. No-one in Christ is a mere wanderer: we are all pilgrims.