By Tom Ehrich

I am home, but not home. At least, not fully home.

Thanks to two grocery runs, the house has plenty of food. Laundry is done. Road grime is off the car windows. I've had two decent nights' sleep.

But something is still off. I can't get motivated to do the work that needs to be done. I think I have too much unfocused time on my hands. Being "on the road," as I called it, gave a tidy shape to my days.

Also, I am worn out. Four weeks of travel left me exhausted. Not sleepy as much as mentally weary.

I find that I can't just drop a lengthy pilgrimage into my life, do it, return home, and slide easily back into my life.

I am sure this weariness will pass. But it is a reminder that life-changes -- even the most positive changes that have been eagerly anticipated -- leave a hole.

I see another factor, as well. I wrote a reflection on Thursday on the faith enterprise as I see it. I focused on the "basics" of faith, not the exotica. Issues like the alleged inerrancy of Scripture, splitting theological hairs, obsession with sexual morality, the end-times, who runs churches and who owns the property struck me as irrelevant. More important are the nature of God, our call to serve, and faith community.

If this is where my reflections are leading, then I am going to find myself standing apart. Not as a rebel or discoverer of "real Christianity." Just a sense that some things don't matter all that much. And the more we focus on things that don't matter, the farther we drift from God.

This, too, left me feeling weary. I am tired of complaining about church life and trying to "fix" churches.

Anyway, a lot is swirling around. A pilgrimage changes things.

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