A Selah Pilgrimage
For many years I have led a contemplative worship service I developed that features music, reading from scripture, and silent prayer. It is called Selah. This word comes from Psalms and is thought to be a musical term for pause or rest. It is this idea of taking time to pause that has always been at the heart of the Selah service.
During the service there is a silent prayer that takes place for ten minutes. For those who are new to this type of service, it can feel daunting to sit still and be quiet for such a long period of time. But most people, after some practice, find this silence a rich opportunity to bring their deepest petitions, confessions, and praises to God. And so it is with pilgrimage.
Going on pilgrimage is a Selah approach to travel. As a tourists, it is often your desire is to fill your schedule with as many historical landmarks, cathedrals, museums, shops and eateries as you possibly can. But traveling as a pilgrim means traveling with the intention of stopping often to ponder and be still. When you put your normal life on pause to pursue adventure you allow yourself the opportunity to stop, reflect, and take stock of your life and your relationship with God. Pilgrimage is that ten minutes of silent prayer expanded into an entire trip of reflection and making space to listen to God’s voice.
If your life feels hectic and overwhelming then I challenge you to experience Selah on pilgrimage. Push away the chaos to find a place of peace where your soul can rest on the journey God has laid out before you.
Jeff Johnson is a recording artist, composer, producer, and Selah worship leader. He started his own record label, ArkMusic, forty years ago and has released numerous solo works as well as collaborations with Irish flutist, Brian Dunning (inspired by the novels of Stephen Lawhead) and guitarist, Phil Keaggy. Recently, he’s had the privilege to lead Selah pilgrimages with Wonder Voyage.