I haven’t hiked the Camino. Someday I hope to make the 500-mile trek across the mountains, valleys, and rivers of Spain, maybe with a few friends or on my honeymoon with mystery man. (I hope he likes walking.) The thought of a challenging physical journey across natural barriers fills me with enthusiasm—almost fervor.
Would I have what it takes to complete the journey? Could I keep moving forward despite blisters, aches, or illness? Would I be able to shoulder my load each morning or would I need to lighten my pack? Would I be humble enough to leave something behind and face the consequences?
As my mind scrolls through these questions, I realize—I walk this journey every day of my life. I am not speaking now of a physical journey, but of a mental and spiritual one. Despite the numerous obstacles, disappointments, and failures of everyday life, do I continue to put one foot in front of the other and move forward towards my goal?
Responding to the duty of the present moment as I serve the moms and babies I live with requires flexibility and sacrifice, and some tasks are just not going to be finished because they are less important. Not knowing how someone will react to a question or reminder presents an obstacle in communicating a message to her. Falling asleep in morning prayer and coming down with a cold on my birthday seem like failures.
But these struggles are part of the journey. They are a splinter of the cross that I pick up and carry behind my Master. They are the load that I must shoulder each morning. And when the burden becomes to heavy and I need to lighten my pack, He is there to give me rest, to show me what can be left behind, and to give what I need to carry the remaining load.