Paul, waiting in Athens for Timothy and Silas, could notice nothing but the abundance of idols filling the city. Unable to stay silent, he challenged Jews in the synagogue, disputed with philosophers in the market place, and shared the gospel with the people of Athens. Whilst some were offended, others chose to believe and started their journey with Christ.
(Paraphrase of Acts 17v16-34)
Paul is a great example of living out #Pilgrimnottourist. He preached the gospel wherever he went, eyes open to what was going on spiritually, and challenging not just the scholars, but “those who happened to be there.” In Athens, instead of sitting idly by as he waited, he seized every opportunity to share the Gospel.
This summer, as we embark on our #Escapeandpray missions, we want to take inspiration from how Paul kept alert, and brought the Good News to anyone who would listen- regardless of status, religion, gender or opinion. We want to move away from times of waiting to times of opportunity, and from sightseeing to life-bringing.
But being a #Pilgrimnottourist is not something to be confined to our summer adventures. Adventure with the Holy Spirit and sharing of the life changing Gospel is not only for one 48-hour expedition. Both of these things are for the everyday, wherever we are.
What could it look like to love the place that you’re in, wherever you are, on any given day? Praying bold prayers, blessing the ground you walk on, responding to the nudge of the Holy Spirit and sharing Jesus with people you encounter during your day. Because whilst doing #Escapeandpray well, and being intentional about not being a tourist and simply following God’s lead may feel like a huge risk and a daunting venture, it’s actually a lifestyle we’re called to in Jesus Christ.
So, start now. Ask God to give you opportunities, keep your eyes peeled as to where the Holy Spirit is at work, and dare to act on those whispers as you contemplate striking up conversation with the stranger sat next to you on the train.
#Pilgrimnottourist; not just for one off adventures, but for life.