Today, in the bittersweet parting of ways with my college age daughter, I found profound perspective. I know the feeling of longing to have one more long walk, one more hug, one more shared couch with her head on my shoulder. Separation is an ache that reminds me of the relationship's tender value.
Squanto arrived in 1619, just a year before the Pilgrims arrived at Cape Cod. When he returned, he was distressed to find that all of his tribe had died of a terrible plague. He found solace in the household of Massasoit, the head Sachem -- or chief -- over all the smaller tribes in the greater area. The land Squanto grew up on was abandoned, due to superstition over the great plague that had wiped out the Patuxet tribe. This is the very acreage that the Mayflower came upon in the snowy, cold December of 1620. The Mayflower tried to sail down the Hudson River, to get out of the bay area, but strong headwinds kept providentially pushing her precious cargo back to Cape Cod.
The pilgrims' lives truly were lived in sacrifice without complaining, as was their trademark. They were living in the New World before it was famous for "first world problems". As I poured through their journals and writings, I was gripped with an extreme conviction. Their hard work ethic, their fellowship and unity, their faithfulness, their lack of complaining paints a stark contrast to the world that I live in. The men, women and children who left everything to come to The New World were following what they believed was the strong and direct will of The Lord for their lives. They were refugees in every sense of the word, yet they lived in confident knowledge that the King of Kings was their father and protector.