The Monk & the Pilgrim

psalm 84:2
psalm 84:2 (Photo credit: joopvandijk)

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
Psalm 84:4-5 (NIV)

People are complex. I’ve discovered this in my own journey of self-discovery. I’ve discovered it in character studies I’ve carried out as an actor. I’ve discovered this in relationships with family and friends. People are rarely one-dimension. Humanity is not a simple equation. In these two adjacent lines from Psalm 84 I found two sides of myself.

Something you probably don’t know is that most mornings in the quiet of my home office as I write my daily post I’m listening to Gregorian Chant. I was probably one of the few people who got really excited about an article in the Wall Street Journal last week about a group of cloistered Missouri nuns whose CD of chants and sacred ancient music have made it to the top of the classical music charts. Meet Brother Tom, the monastic wannabe. There is part of me that feels called to the quiet and the simple. I long to dwell in the House of the Lord in quiet isolation to read, pray, and write.

A few years ago Wendy, the girls and I all did personality profiles and talked about our differences. I was amazed when Madison said she always thought of me as an introvert. She woke every morning across the hall from my office seeing me isolated in my pseudo-monastic quiet.

But there is the other part of me that people are more familiar with. Tom, the extrovert. Tom, the guy up front. Tom, the performer. Tom, the is called to the outside. My heart is set on pilgrimage in this life. I’m a pilgrim journeying through the arts, through corporate America, and through community.

The monk and the wayfaring pilgrim. We are all multi-dimensional people. We are not stamped out on an assembly line. God hand-crafted each of us with incredible complexity. Life is a process of understanding, accepting, embracing and celebrating the multiple layers of the unique person we are each created to be.

3 thoughts on “The Monk & the Pilgrim”

  1. You would love Ruth Haley Barton’s stuff.. All about silence, solitude & the need for such for all.. both extroverts & introverted people, but especially those in leadership, in order to stay mentally & spiritually grounded.

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