I discovered, while walking the Camino, that pilgrims are exposed to many heightened emotions. They swirl about us as we inch along, always our companions on the journey. Long days spent walking through field, forest, and even along roadways, offer unique opportunities for reflecting on the many moods of pilgrim life (or simply on life off the Camino), and also on the grace of simply being alive and walking the Way. On the days when life is a bit more challenging, and our peace is more elusive, perhaps that is the time to open up an interior dialogue, and allow that voice, that is always trying to be heard, to actually be heard. This invitation begins a seemingly simple, but actually complex, activity to identify the barriers to our peace. In these instances we should be determined seekers for this peace, our peace, is abundant and waiting. However, when answers are not easily found, and focus eludes us, impatience predictably sets in, and the opportunity for spiritual growth, once again, is subsumed in the clamor and gravitational pull of daily life wherever we happen to be.
Patience is not a pervasive human trait. We are so geared to being accomplishers, problem solvers, masters of our own destiny, that being still is almost anathema to us. Yet, the first step to finding our peace is stillness. Being able to push away distractions (at least for some small part of the day) is an essential competancy we must develop and embrace. The more we give ourselves over to the silence of our own reflections the more likely it is that we will hear the inner voice (Spirit) that is there to guide us. The difficult journey to our own individual peace starts with making room in our hearts for the reconciliation of God’s will with our own. Once this is done all is possible.
… But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. (Robert Frost)