the pilgrimage of a cow

Before we came to Switzerland, I didn’t know much about pilgrimage. To me a pilgrimage was something people did in the 1600s to escape religious imprisonment….now I know this isn’t the truth.

In Europe thousands of people still go on pilgrimages for a variety of reasons. Religious, personal, to reach a goal, to have time to think…the list is endless.

Today we got to go on a pilgrimage of our own. We walked from the town of Schwarzenburg to Fribourg, along the “Way of St. James.” By the time we reached the cathedral in Fribourg, we’d walked about 16.6 miles. 16.6 miles of gorgeous Swissness.


The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. There were endless fields of silky wheat blowing in the wind (we ran our hands through it in a tribute to Gladiator), rolling hills spotted with grazing cows, old castle ruins tucked amongst deep forests, cobblestoned pathways winding through tunnels of smooth stone…absolutely beautiful.

Awee look how adorable…it’s Patrick the pilgrim.


16.6 miles is a long time to think. So naturally, I had some profound revelations. Ok not really, but I did have a few interesting thoughts along the way…

At one point I was walking past a grazing cow and found myself thinking something I’ve considered ever since I was young.

In the past, sometimes when I was having a hard time with something I’d thought “if only I were that bird over there, life would be so simple…”

Yes, my mind works in strange ways.

And now I was looking at this cow and thinking about how easy the cow has it. Its only concern is where the best grass is to eat. If I were a cow, life would be so simple.

That’s when I had a thought I’d never had before….

What if that’s what God thinks about us? What if He’s watching us living our lives everyday and thinking, “Wow. They have it so simple and they don’t even know it. If only they realized how simple their life really is, maybe they would be more grateful for the life they have…”

I mean, maybe to the cows finding the best grass to eat seems like a really big deal. Maybe it consumes their thoughts and days so they don’t ever stop to think that there’s more to life than finding the best grass to eat.

Maybe we should take more time in our lives to stop and think about what really matters. To re-evaluate our perspective. Maybe all those little things we think are so important really aren’t that important…

Life really is all about perspective isn’t it?


So now you’ve endured my moment of “profoundness.” It really was refreshing to be out in nature all day. I loved being able to just think and enjoy the peacefulness of it all…



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