Keep on walking

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Yes, that is my foot, yes that is my hiking boot.

Hi! Worst blogger ever has returned for a brief moment. Time is not on my side when it comes to writing right now. In fact, I should be outside right now, but here I am in the non-walking position, and that means I am writing!

Five weeks from today I will – well, God willing as we say around here – will head north to Montreal. From there, Sue and I will get on a plane and fly to Paris. Camino Santiago, here we come! Yet, five weeks seems both an incredibly long time, and an incredibly short time. Long in the sense that I have a lot of training in front of me, and short in the sense that I have so much to do before I leave. Every day I am faced with the need to walk the walk. Talk is cheap, walk – not so much. I simply have to keep on walking.

There are many things I would love to write about, like the mass readings. In today’s Gospel we hear for the zillionth time that we need to be forgiving. Talk really is cheap, isn’t it? Last night I dreamed of an old friend, a person that I find it nearly impossible to forgive. Old childhood wounds and disappointments remain tender, more recent challenges burn white hot at times, erupting and taking me by surprise. Last night she crossed my mind as I was cleaning up after dinner, and she turns up in my dream. Wow God you are persistent, aren’t you?

In the dream we were both tentative and amicable, until Hillary Clinton showed up. Was she with us? Or on TV or a device? Oh wispy dreams, I cannot grasp your tendrils and remember. Anyway, there she was and before anything could erupt, my old friend said that we could not discuss politics. I felt total relief, instead of my typical urge to pick at the wound of disagreement. Then I awakened! Poof, dream over. Five minutes later I am drowsy and reading the Gospel about forgiveness. Talk is so cheap, ridiculously so and yest even at that price I can’t even talk theoretical forgiveness with this friend. What about walking? Can I walk forgiveness? It seems hardly possible.

Jesus tells us we must forgive in this way:

“I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.”

And I can barely keep count of reps when I exercise, or even laps around my neighborhood – how do I do this?

How many miles must I walk on this road? It would be so much easier to simply write about forgiveness rather than have to participate in the dynamics of the whole mess. *deep sigh* Yes, this is why this old blog grows dim and dusty from disuse – the participation sport of actual living.

Yes, I would love to be writing about the Scriptures, about spiritual elements of life, contemporary social challenges, and finding God in unlikely places, not to mention the lightning rod of politics, but no.  With the call of Christ from the Camino, and like Edwin Starr sang in 1968, “I’ve got to keep on walking.”

Last night I tried to walk,  oh how I tried to walk. On Tuesday I did over 10 miles! (And over 9 on Monday!) Yet, I felt the heat hit me like a huge wet, heavy woolen blanket the moment I got out the door. I made it a short way, burning extra calories no doubt, as I waved my arms and hands wildly swatting at the unending army of gnats that swarmed my face and upper body. As I pressed into the soupy evening, my body was not only excreting sweat, but also getting covered with the moisture of the humidity that wrapped itself around me. No 9 or 10 miler last night, nope – not a chance. That’s the point, walking is hard, really hard. I won’t have the opportunity to return to my air-conditioned family room on a bad day in Spain. I’ll have to keep on walking.

Oh wait, there is Jesus tapping my shoulder again, as I recall playing one of my 45’s over and over on my portable record player while hanging out with the aforementioned no longer friend. Ugh. You know what’s next – I’ve got to keep on walking.

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3 thoughts on “Keep on walking

  1. Good luck in your training. May your every step of El Camino a Santiago be blessed! I am inspired and a bit envious. I hope you will make the time to tell us about your pilgrimage.

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  2. Let me give you some good news Fran, El Nino has passed. There is a definite autumnal feel in the European air. It still gets hot but it cools down too. Five weeks from now it will (hopefully) be great walking weather.

    As for forgiveness, my best hope is the line I read in the book “Thrift Store Saints” by Jane Knuth. When I can’t do it, the Father can – as Jesus said on the cross.

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