The Camino De Santiago is a network of ancient paths that spider-web across Europe and converges on Spain’s northeastern city of Santiago. With virtually no research before setting off on my first adventure, I promptly got lost in the bustling city of Pamplona. Soon after, my feet were getting blisters, and my ill-fitting and much-too-heavy pack was rapidly becoming an awkward burden. Determined to keep moving, I eventually discovered the route markers. I also met some helpful strangers, who subsequently became my travelling companions for the next few days. As a result, I felt rejuvenated with a sense of purpose and connectedness that propelled me forward.
In Deuteronomy, God invites us to follow him on a Camino of much greater scope, where our response carries eternal consequences. If we follow him down this path we choose life. All he requires is our love, obedience and loyalty.
The path is not always easy. In fact, it usually is not — especially when fatigue sets in, when pain slows our progress or when trail companions turn into sources of discouragement. We may even begin to wonder why we ever signed up for this in the first place. There will be moments of stumbling and losing our way, but that’s to be expected, it’s all part of the pilgrimage.
God says his commands are not too difficult for us, which is encouraging. Yet some of us refuse to make the journey. Others become distracted and wander far from the route markers laid out in Scripture (yellow arrows and conch shells on the Camino), much like the children of Israel after reaching the Promised Land. Whether by refusing to follow or by leaving the path, the outcome is disastrous.
In Luke, Jesus travels from Jericho to Jerusalem, nearing the completion of his own Camino on earth, having beautifully modelled love, obedience and loyalty every step of the way. He knows the road we must travel and is the ultimate guide for the journey of our lives.
Where are you on the Camino of life? What distractions are currently slowing you down?
Be assured that wherever you may find yourself on this great pilgrimage: “The LORD is indeed going before you – he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you.” Therefore do not be afraid or discouraged!
International Worker with the C&MA