Sunday, May 22, 2016

What AM I looking for? or, "Ditch the plan, Ruth!"

This was one of my favorite songs from growing up:

At least part of the reason why I like the song is that it captures the essence of Wanderlust for me...That elusive feeling that you don't know what it is, but you are missing something.

As I'm about 10 days away from my second Camino, I'm a little perplexed as to why I'm going.  I really don't have any burning questions to ask God, and I don't really have any kind of spiritual or psychological healing that I feel I need.  I'm in my dream job, I'm part of an awesome parish, I get to go to Adoration 2x/ week, and I (and the bank) own my home.  I don't have that feeling of missing something, and honestly, that is something that I tend to feel at the two year mark of any position I've ever been in before.

I can honestly say that I'm content--or maybe blessed and grateful are better terms for what I'm feeling.  Which brings me back to the question, "Why am I going? What am I looking for?"

I know that I've been called to do this Camino, and I AM looking forward to it, even though I know that it won't be anything like the first one. For one, I will be working as I go--I will be teaching all summer long online.  This means that I will be more plugged in to what is going on in the world as well, since I have to stay on top of emails, etc.  I'm also going to be tuned into every little thing my body tells me, and I know that, if my body tells me to, I will be skipping to the end.  I don't anticipate that happening, but it is a possibility.  I also know that, if things go really south, the pilgrim's office in Santiago are always looking for volunteers, so I could very well end up most or part of the summer volunteering until my plane trip home.

Even so, I really wonder what this Camino will be like, and how it will be the same/different from the last one.  Something that many pilgrims say is the phrase, "The Camino Provides."  As a Catholic Christian, I believe that it is God providing what we need through the intercession of St. James, but, based on my experience, those of us who are Christians and doing this as a spiritual exercise are in the minority.  No matter what, you often find yourself at the right place at the right time, and you get exactly what you need to be encouraged/helped/taught along the way.  Also, the lessons you learn may or may not be the ones that you start your trek hoping to learn.

Actually, I suspect that God really wants to teach me about His provision this trip: every time I start to think about where I might want to end my stages or figure out mileage or make sure that I have enough time to finish the full Camino, I feel like the Holy Spirit is whispering in my ear, "Ditch the plan, Ruth. Trust Me."  And, that is why I think that God hasn't laid some burning question on my heart or my mind.  My job is to be open to whatever lesson He wants to teach me.

With that in mind, I'm on the lookout for a short prayer that I can pray daily while on the Camino, and which reflects that openness.  If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

And, one good song from my childhood deserves another.  This is also my prayer: