Last year I had the opportunity to practice Pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago with students, faculty, and staff from Fuller. With guidance before we began and along the way, our journey was simple and clear: to Santiago.
Each morning began the same way:
- Pack your daypack
- Pack your suitcase
- Suitcase downstairs before 8 am
- Breakfast at 7:30
Each leg of the journey was different:
- Forests and roads
- Inclines and flat lands
- Rain and sun
- City and countryside
- 8 miles and 16 miles
The simplicity of expectations provided guidance for the day. The contrast of each path offered an opportunity to open up to God, ourselves, one another, and the creation around us. The consistency of direction provided security and purpose as we walked the miles and traversed the terrain of body, heart, mind, and soul.
And even as the external Camino ended at the Cathedral of St. James, the internal Camino continued. Ending the steps, we now faced the internal reflections, awarenesses, and revelations along the way. The physical camino had provided a mirror for what was happening within and the internal Camino would linger past the miles walked.
The Camino didn’t solve any problems or answer any questions. In reality, it raised more. It has pressed me to recognize that I still do approach spiritual practices and journeying with Jesus with the desires for answers and clarity. Jesus often doesn’t answer us but he does promise to be with us. He is with us on the journey and arrival isn’t always the point.
Jesus is with us and Jesus gives us direction. Just as the Camino provided wayfinding signs, God has given us wayfinding markers.
These markers include conversation through Scripture, the peace and presence of the Holy Spirit, and a community of people. Hebrews 12:1-3 reflects this saying:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Even as we walk a life of pilgrimage, we walk with direction and purpose. And we do not walk alone.
Here at the Center for Spiritual Formation, we love supporting you as you serve and journey with Jesus. We want to cheer you on, help you notice the markers, and to encourage and strengthen your heart, mind, body, and soul.
Feel free to explore the ways we provide support, as well as reach out with any questions or curiosities you may have.
We would love to walk with you and your ministry community.