Walking the Camino is going to be a deeply spiritual experience for me. As the months go by I become more and more impatient and a couple of weeks ago I almost booked a ticket to Spain, bringing my journey forward more than a year. But somehow I managed to stop myself.
For some reason I keep getting the overwhelming feeling that the months leading up to June 2012 are going to be filled with lessons and messages that I simply have to absorb, cherish and apply in my life. Patience - perhaps one of the biggest lessons of all. We live in a world where everything has to happen now.
Not only does it have to happen now, it also has to happen according to our own wishes and demands. I have a funny suspicion that part of what I'm supposed to learn through this experience is that I have to let go and let God...
Listen for a change - is what I keep hearing. So I'll wait. Reading the accounts of all the people who are walking right now, Servaas, Sabine and Anna-Marie - the people who have walked already - Bev, Annie, Ermanno, Christie, Sil and Robert - the people who are planning to walk again soon - Karin and Jeremiah - is sufficient for me right now. Their accounts fuel my own desire to walk and serves as affirmation to me that I'm heading in the right direction.
I am truly thankful that there are so many people who are prepared to share so generously! Without their stories, I for one would never have known of the existence of the Camino and all the possibilities that it holds!
I'm also thankful that this journey is bringing me closer to God than I've ever been. Reading the Bible attentively and being open to the messages that I'm supposed to receive has become a way of life for me now. I know that I never open the Bible on any specific page by accident.
In fact, sometimes I simply stare at the pages in almost disbelief, as it is hard at times to believe how a certain piece fits exactly into specific situations. Questions that no one could answer are answered in one sentence, precisely at the time that you needed it answered.
So I'd like to share something special with you on this, the 200th day of the life of this blog, and I can't think of anything more special than what I read in Ephesians 4 and 5 last night.
'Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.'
'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.'
Walking the Camino for more than a month is going to provide a wonderful opportunity to put all of the above in practice. I suspect it is going to be relatively easy to behave in this way towards strangers who are mostly going to be attempting to do exactly what you are doing - as it is a pilgrimage after all. The real challenge is going to be to uphold these principles in everyday life.
Just imagine what life would be like if every single person on this earth subscribed to the above! Summarised in a handful of words - so simple, yet so powerful!
I'm still very far from Spain but on day 200 I truly feel as if I've already walked part of the Camino!