On Saturday I’m headed out to hike the Camino – The Way of St. James. I’ll be hiking with a four friends in northern Spain for a week. We’ll start in Pamplona, the city Hemingway made famous for the “running of the bulls.”
As we walk, we’ll transform into peregrinos (pilgrims). We’ll join hundreds of others who are on a spiritual journey. And as we walk, we will think and talk and pray. We’ll enter a liminal space where anything is possible.
For me it will be a time of debriefing and celebration. Each evening, we’ll gather sobre la mesa – around the table – with other pilgrims to eat a three course meal and to talk about life.
I’ve found that it’s important periodically to unplug enough to think about life from an ultimate perspective. Though we’d rather not admit it, often, death is all around us and life is short. This past week, for example, a couple of our racers in Malawi witnessed a man die in front of them. And back here in America, a friend lost his granddaughter to a sudden illness.
What does God think about such tragedy? In light of the brevity of life, how should we live? Do our priorities line up with our values?
In America, our paradigm of life involves stacking up a boat-load of debt and then scrambling to make money to pay it off. We may have dreams, but we postpone them to try and get out from under the debt.
And while we defer living the life of our dreams, we live our lives in virtual space, tracking our virtual friends and posting selfies.
That’s what my friends and I want to unplug from. It’s what we’ll walk away from. It’s what our souls need. It’s what all of us caught in a cycle of distracted living hunger for. We need a season of debriefing, of making sense of what is happening all around us.
As we walk, we’ll fill each day with questions that will guide our thoughts. Yesterday I asked some young men I mentor to give me questions that we should ask. I offer them to you.
1. Think through your last year – list all its highs and lows. What did you learn?
2. Jesus offers us abundant life. What is “the more” that God is offering you and how are you seeking it?
3. You have much to give those younger than you. How can you mentor others? Who needs your mentorship?
4. Who do you need to thank who has helped you get here?
5. How can you better love the people whom you love?
6. What do you want from the upcoming year?
7. What fruit would you like to see from the rest of your life?
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Why not plan to go somewhere quiet in the next month to debrief your life? Enjoy the change of seasons around you and consider the change of seasons in your own life.