The Camino Is a Good Place to Sort Yourself Out
In the years we have been walking the Camino, enjoying the people we meet along the way, we have noticed that some are walking because of a big change in their lives, and some are walking because they desire a change in their lives. What we know by faith is that those who seek God and His wisdom find Him. It’s a promise He makes and delights in keeping.
On the Camino we have met many people who were walking because of a big change in their lives. A mother and daughter from Germany walked after the death of their husband/father from cancer. A man in his 70’s walked because his wife was at home with cancer. Many people were walking after a relationship break-up. Many walked after finishing one job, before starting the hunt for a new one. These pilgrims were walking as a way to transition to the next chapter of their lives. They sought comfort in their grief and loss, and direction for what was next.
We have met many who were walking to find their “why,” or desiring change from current situations. They were somewhere on the scale between completely miserable, full of regrets and shame, to mildly unhappy with how life was going for them.
What we know by faith is that real change happens from the inside out as we put off our old selves and put on our new selves in the likeness of God. The Camino is a good place for this because a pilgrim can unplug from normal routines, and open up to God about who He made you to be, and what He wants you to know. You have lots of time to talk things over with God as you walk.
Whatever kind of change it is that nudges you to the Camino, God can meet you and answer your questions. Desire this relationship with God as you walk, and listen for his answers. They mostly come in inaudible messages to your heart and mind, or through interactions with strangers, and some come through encounters we might call supernatural, but they have become so frequent they seem normal to us now.
In Paul’s letter to the Jesus followers in Ephesus, he gives some strategies for living life to the full, as God intends. “God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love…everything connected with [your] old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” (from The Message)
God desires this “God-fashioned,” full life for everyone, without exception. If you are already in a relationship with Jesus, LET him draw you deeper into his love. If you don’t know much about Jesus yet, but want to explore more, ASK God, spoken or unspoken, to reveal himself to you.
Wick and Helen Van Wagenen first walked the Camino in 2007, and God has used every part of their experience to shape their lives since then. They have continued to make many more trips to research routes, test gear, and volunteer along The Way. In 2016 they founded Camino Provisions, which includes a website full of Camino resources and blogs, and are more active than ever before on FaceBook and Instagram encouraging others to discover and live the pilgrim lifestyle. You can contact them at Info@CaminoProvisions.com.