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The signs outside the ancient church in a central European city were clear: a red diagonal line through the image of a camera meant no photos were to be taken inside. Thankfully I wasn’t one of the rule breakers – those who did, however, had their cameras snatched away by the security guard on duty. I witnessed one such confiscation and patiently refrained from succumbing to the temptation to sneak in my own picture taking.

Instead, the more leisurely stroll through the basilica Sacred Heart brought me back to the role of pilgrim rather than tourist. Pilgrims saunter slowly and take in the multi-sensory experience of the moment; tourists move swiftly by with camera and stop watch in tow.

As I walked pilgrim-like through this beautiful edifice I found myself noticing much more detail. The colors of the stained glass, the beauty of the frescoes, the detail on the paintings, the enormity of the statues, the brilliance of the silver, the woodwork, the organ, the altar, all seemed to come alive. What changed for me? No camera to focus and no distraction to keep me from enjoying fully the gorgeous handiwork and skilled labors of love that gracefully erected this amazing church.

The question I asked myself is one I offer to you today: are you running through life like a distracted tourist or are you strolling carefully like an attentive pilgrim? Choose the latter and not only will the slower pace feed your soul but the gracious gifts of the moment will too!


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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn and twin grandsons, Aiden Joseph and Carson Stephen. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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