MUSIC: "White Owl" by Josh Garrels

Through the shadowlands, And forgotten paths, You will find a road.
— Josh Garrels

Learning to listen to the inner movements of one's self is necessary when launching a soulful journey. 

I've found this song by Josh Garrels to be helpful in provoking and articulating my own inner process. Below, I've written out the lyrics and added my own commentary in italics beneath each verse. Give it a spin! 

"White Owl" by Josh Garrels

When the night comes, And you don’t know which way to go.{Pilgrimage often starts when something isn’t working, when you’ve lost your way, when things aren’t making sense, or you need a change.}

Through the shadowlands And forgotten paths, You will find a road.{Implies a journey, one with real dangers, but also a path that has been tread by others long before. Hope. A road already waiting, a way will be made. Take courage.}

Like an owl you must fly by moonlight with an open eye, And use your instinct as your guide, to navigate the ways that lay before you, You were born to take the greatest flight.{Though in the dark, you must re-discover the sense of direction you have buried in your chest. You don’t have to create something or be someone different, but find and follow that which God put in you. Honing this buried desire and volition is one of the primary battles (and catalysts) of pilgrimage.}

Like a serpent and a dove, you will have wisdom born of love, And carry visions from above into the places{The centrality of love. Vision from outside yourself, of the Kingdom of the heavens, perhaps before you realize it. You yourself become the one who can carry these and birth them into reality in a new way.}

No man dares to follow{The riskiness and unknown of both the journey of faith and the physical journey of pilgrimage. The scariest journey is the inward one—to go to the places where your un-numbed heart will take you, and there confront the places of sorrow and doubt and fear. There is a wildness to following God that tests us in profound ways. It take courage (and help!) to sustain the risk and abandonment of control that the truly spiritual life demands, as well as the delight that life with God ultimately evokes.}

Every hollow in the dark of night Waiting for the light{The world is waiting, desperately for light}

Take the flame tonight.{Urgency, choice}

Child the time has come for you to go {You have dawdled, lingered, doubted, or perhaps are still tempted to stay. Yet something deep down knows you must go.}

You will never be alone{Christ is always, always with you. Unshakeably true. Learn to become aware of him in your every thought and in each moment}

Every dream that you have been shown will be like a living stone building you into a home a shelter from the storm{The journey is not just for you. You are shown things that will become a place of refuge and rest and life for others along their own paths}

Like a messenger of peace, the beauty waits to be released, Upon the sacred path you keep, Leading deeper into the unveiling As you’re sailing across the great divide{Ever deeper knowledge the further in we go. Each stage completed reveals a new vista, while new challenges are encountered. The voyage of life implies movement, edging us ever closer to the great divide of death—and the truer, fuller life beyond—when all will be reconciled}

Like a wolf at midnight howls, You use your voice in darkest hours, To break the silence and the power, Holding back the others from their glory{This is for the liberation of others as well as yourself. In the all too common darkness and despair of human existence, you learn to speak and use your voice on behalf of those who have no voice. You have something to speak, (which is your glory) and in turn this opens others to their voice and in turn their glory}

Every story will be written soon, The blood is on the moon, Morning will come soon{The urgency of time. Our stories are being written, even now. The morning is coming, death will not be the final word. But for now, in this fleeting life, we must act and follow God as best we can with the time given to us. Life does not wait, yet God is full of mercy and help. It is never too late to begin again.}

Child the time has come for you to go{Urgency. Now is the time}

You will never be alone{It’s not all up to you. God is with you. But you must follow}

Every dream that you have been shown{You have been shown things, things to bring into the world}

Will be like a living stone Building you into a home A shelter for the storm.