For me, the Camino is about change.
It starts easily enough. Each day, as you walk, the landscape changes. You may begin on a mountain with low growing brush and end the day in a forest of tall Eucaliptus trees with bark peeling and sweet aroma swimming in the cool breeze. Yet, what I was doing didn’t change.
Step by Step by Step
Each day, each moment was just taking the next step. Sometimes (usually before lunch 😏) these steps are easy, sometimes each step hurts. Sometimes, you don’t think you can take another step because of the pain in your feet or legs. Yet to stay where you are allows no food, no shelter, no bed, so you take another step forward.
Life is like this. Right now, life is good. My kids are at great ages for conversation, my job is really fun, my husband and I get to spend more time together than when the kids were younger. So, I stop to admire the view and take another step. I know the scenery is changing up ahead. Next school year the oldest is off to college, the middle off to high school. But it’s just another step.
Be Where You Are
The day we climbed the mountain on the Camino, we started in the dark. We had on headlamps, and could only see as far as our beam would shine. At one point, I was climbing an incline and I noticed a light shining a story above me. When I looked up I realized that was mom, ahead of me on the path. Dread filled my psyche because I knew I would get no reprieve from this climb, but instead I had to go higher. In that moment I understood why God shows us one step at a time. Prior to this revelation I had not cared to worry about what came next, and I was perfectly content with the next step.
So, I’m choosing to keep my sights on the next step in life. I spent 6 years trying to figure out if I was in the right job, was I called into ministry, should I stay home to raise my kids. I spent years feeling guilty because I’m not domestically gifted or skilled like “all” the other moms (I have no desire to homestead or homeschool or even clean my home). Surprisingly, quitting my job landed in a different position with the same company, pastoring a church, and in circumstances where I learned I was playing the comparison game and that stopping is an option. I’m pretty content here. This isn’t at all what I expected and I see opportunities for change in the future, but I’m not stretching to see what’s ahead (ok, honestly I’m fighting my old habits), because I’d rather enjoy the journey than have all the answers.
There is a saying The Camino Provides. It’s true, well the Camino doesn’t provide, but God does. On our journey, every need was met, even the ones we didn’t know we needed. There were blackberries along the path. Often times I would stop to grab some, not realizing how uplifted I would be by the sweetness and the moisture they gave. I didn’t know I needed to learn about St. Benedict until I visited Samos. I didn’t know people were the answer to distraction from pain until I talked to them in the journey and got so caught up in their lives that I forgot to limp.
God provides. I came home from Spain with the resolve to serve my family with less resentment. I tend to get frustrated that they need so much from me, and that I am the go to person for food, and dishes, clothing, and projects. I suppose I find it overwhelming. Since being home, someone else has pointed out this flaw in me. This is a part of my character that needs refining. I don’t know how to change, but I want to. Jesus is the author and perfector of my faith. He will provide what is needed in this season and this day to take me from Glory to Glory.
The longer I am away from the journey, the more thankful I become for the experience. Thanks be to God!