Along the Camino, I had the privilege of walking in the footsteps of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims before me. What brought them to the Way? What heavy burdens or heartache or questions were they carrying? Many pilgrims walk to seek solace, healing, or search for answers. When I first decided to walk, I had no such intention. I was just restless and wanted to go on an adventure! A little tug on my heart convicted me that this was the one.
When researching what to expect on the Camino, one hears a lot about bedbugs, blisters, and other everyday occupational hazards for the pilgrim. No one tells you about the warm and sunny afternoons spent enjoying a beer on a patio, reflecting, busting a gut with new friends, and leaving behind the stress of everyday life.
And was it ever a grand adventure!
In the endless hours I spent walking, I looked back on the last few years of my life and realized that all of my greatest adventures were the ones that I allowed the Lord to plan. The times when I suspended my need to control the immediate future and took a leap of faith. God by no means wants to control our future, but definitely longs to fill our lives with great gifts and adventures. Adventures marked by intention. Ones which fulfill the desires of our hearts..
But the gifts and adventures we are called to receive don’t necessarily look the same as our friends’. I have so easily gotten caught up in the blessings that I see others receiving that I have completely missed what God is trying to show me personally. The comparison game is a dangerous one though and can leave us unsatisfied and wanting. Sometimes I really struggle with that.
BUT, God wants our happiness and when we delve deep into our hearts, we acquire a self-knowledge that enables us to better discern the amazing plans in store for our lives. On the Camino I had nothing but time and began to do this as I walked. It was uncomfortable at times because I came face-to-face with my pride, selfishness and fears, but it was so very fruitful too.
Compare less my fellow peregrinos, contemplate more…and JUMP! God has amazing plans.