Sunday, January 6, 2013

Camino Status

Over the course of the next months I will be periodically posting status updates on our proposed pilgrimage on the "Way of Saint James" in northern Spain.  I first learned about the "Way" i.e. "El Camino de Santiago de Compostela" in early October 2012 when I watched the movie "The Way".  After being asked by my beautiful wife "do you want to do  that?" - I started my research. First - was it just a story written for the wide screen or was it a semi-true story? - I found out it was true  It took us about 20 seconds to both agree that we should do it. Since that time I have been doing lots of research - who walks "The Way" and why - how long does it take - can older folks like us do it - what is the cost - what equipment is needed - what do you do while walking 790 Km or approximately  500 miles? The list goes on and it is quite a list. So here we are the first week of 2013 and we have purchased trekking boots and socks - probably the most important pieces of equipment - along with back packs and other goodies. There is more to acquire but since we do not plan on walking until September 2013 - time to acquire the rest. We are currently testing our boots - I am already on my third pair and Arlene is on her second - who would have thought it would be so difficult buying boots? We have started serious walking - with and without the back packs and trekking poles. We not only have to learn how to carry our lives on our backs for some six weeks - we have to also learn how to walk over various terrain - it is a process that will be ongoing for the next eight months. That might sound excessive but my daughter-in-law just spent three months training to run one a half-marathon on one day. We will essentially be walking a half-marathon for some 30 plus days in a row - day after day. We need to build up our endurance - train our feet to be happy walking 15 to 20 miles a day. Will we succeed in our attempt - yes - because we have a vision - a purpose to our craziness. 
Lots of people do a lot of crazy things - bungee jump - sky dive - sail around the world - preach the Gospel of Jesus. When Jesus began His preaching ministry - many people thought He was going in a direction that would cause Him problems - and it did. He was preaching a way of life that was counter cultural - going against the flow of common thought. Today - those of us who preach that same Gospel - are still going against the flow of common thought - we preach life that is not what the World preaches. We preach reconciliation with enemies - not war - we preach forgiveness - not hate or revenge - we preach acceptance - not exclusion - we preach community - not individuation - we preach responsibility - not avoidance. We do as Jesus did - for the same reason - because God wills it - not for His good - but ours.

Deacon Dale