The first steps
Took the bus from Bilbao to San-Sebastian yesterday. Then the train to Irún. Of course I should point out we took the wrong train first. A dancer who is here from another part of Europe directed us back to the right train.
Made it to Irún. Went to the beginning of the Camino Del Norte. Walked across the bridge into France. Then we turned around and and started walking.
I decided to get some walking poles to help with the pain in my right knee. The guy at the Hiking store directed me to get some different shoes too. He said that those Merrill boots were not helping my knee. So I have changed those out. Strangely enough, even after walking a good 5 miles before changing the boots to the shoes my knee started feeling better with the shoes. (We walked around, went to a grocery store and bought food for dinner).
Went to bed around 2000. By 0258 I needed to get rid of some of the hydration I had been engaging earlier. I awoke and slid out of the bunk bed (at times like this I realize that I am much larger than average. I accidentally bumped into the lights on the wall. All the lights came on. I quickly realized what I had done and turned them off. I don’t think I woke anyone up but I don’t know. I had earplugs.
That took me back to my Chaplain Assistant days. We were in Germany doing a 911 memorial service in the Chapel. Ascots, highly shined boots, starched uniforms- the show. Generals and all that pomp. I was standing in the back of the Chapel and leaned back. The lights went out, thank God it was in the afternoon I might have become Private Williams instead of Specialist Williams. It was a big panel of lights. I had no clue which buttons I had hit. The E8 (also a Chaplain Assistant) who was running everything, came over and fixed it. Directed me out to the main room and sent me home. I didn’t mind. I wasn’t in trouble either. He treated us lower enlisted guys with respect and kindness.
0259 I did a bit of Texting with Kate. Then tried to sleep. Maybe I slept another hour. It is just too hot. Reminds me of Jalalabad in the summer or maybe Iraq or…
After tossing, turning and praying for a time I just got up. Thought I might as well write. Sleepless nights are nothing new to any Veteran. I want to say I’m refreshed and ready to go. All I can say is that I’m ready to go.
Life is like that. We are always growing and going. It may not be healthy growth but time doesn’t care. I reckon that is why it is important to practice prayer and meditation.
Spiritual Discipline, not something sexy and cool in the tik-tok world in which we live. But in the world of Christianity Spiritual Discipline is sexy and cool. There are thousands of signs pulling everyone towards this way of life. Most people are consumed by the glitter and glitch. This they do not see the signs. It’s a form of blindness.
On the flight yesterday I spent some time looking at the clouds. I have never seen anything like those clouds before. The mountains on the coast of Spain when we flew in were incredible. Two birds at the train station landed right in front of me and looked me in the eye. I didn’t speak their language but I know they were telling me to BELIEVE.
There are many signs and many wonders. God is real. I want to Believe always. I stray though. I wander. I forget. I doubt. I loose hope from time to time.
And God keeps calling me back. He opens my eyes from time to time. I hear the still small voice of the Holy Ghost calling me. It’s like the voice on Google maps, “in so many feet turn southwest…” Where is southwest what does it mean? Ugh! It’s a big puzzle. A huge journey. It’s a calling. It is life.
It is a Spiritual Life. You didn’t come from nothing. Those of us who have witnessed explosions know that life doesn’t come out of an explosion. That’s fairy-tail stuff. We know that there is something greater. We know that there is purpose and that life matters.
I know that it is God. I know. I know. I know that I know. And still it is a struggle.
Can I fully know God? Can I know everything about God? NO, God has reserved the cloak of mystery. God is a Spirit. God is reaching out to me in signs and wonders. God is personal and patient with me. I guess it is I who needs to embrace Him.
Last thing about the Spiritual Discipline- you are practicing some form of it. It doesn’t matter where you are on the journey, you are practicing Spiritual Discipline. You may be a bit out of control, bumping up against the homeostasis of this created world. You may not be living in harmony. Regardless of where you think you are, where you BELIEVE you are is more important.
Believe and Christ will do the rest. All the crap coming at you today- believe and Christ will see you through. Can’t seem to get it together- don’t worry just believe.
We can encourage. We can embrace but we cannot believe on behalf of someone else. We must all believe for ourselves. I do believe in you but I cannot believe for you.