Walking into Sarria, an important part of the Camino since you must walk from this town to Santiago in order to receive your pilgrim Credential, I encountered a pilgrim walking in the OPPOSITE direction, rarely a good “sign.” Yet, it was one of those simple signs from God that awakened me to what the Lord meant when he told the disciples to “choose the narrow path,” not the one that is wide open and free flowing.
I Asked this man if I was going in the right direction and on the right path. He pointed his walking pole in the direction I was walking and said, “Santiago.” Then he told me he was going BACK to France. He was on the right path for him, walking in the right direction. I, too, was on the right path for me, and walking in the right direction.
We all have a path marked out for us by God, and it is “narrow” because it is chosen just for us , with the right doors and windows open and all the others closed. This “narrow path” is the one that always leads to life and creates inner tranquility when we are on this chosen path. We have to learn that certain doors and windows must be closed and remain closed. A life with no direction and ALL doors and windows open is a life that leads absolutely nowhere. I have met a number of pilgrims who seems to be on such a path of no commitment.
However, there are always voices within and “spirits of deception” that beckon on to choose other paths. Often times we must take risks and make changes, but only ones consistent with our calling and temperament. We look at others on their paths and we compare our selves and our moods with our “perception” of their inner state. And we always perceive these people as happier and more fulfilled. This creates an inner restlessness that almost compels us to change paths by leaving relationships, communities, marriages , careers or vocations. I’m not saying that, perhaps, the narrow path might mean making a massive change in the direction our lives are taking. But this must be done in prayer and discernment with people wise in the spiritual life. If the change is a monumental one it must bring us onto that “narrow path ,” the one we left along the pilgrimage of life.
Just don’t a deceived.
Can you imagine if I turned around ?
Buen camino. Fr. Frank