The busyness of life seems to be constantly nipping at my heels. With my contemplative orientation, I crave periods of rest and time to think without worldly distractions.
But I’ve come to appreciate that my faith has really blossomed during times of community, particularly when I travel with groups of Christians to faraway places. The shared bond of being bound through Christ as well as the ability to get away from my “normal world” makes for fertile ground for the Holy Spirit to enter the space with a clear voice.
My first adult “retreat” to New Mexico was with a group of Singles from a large Baptist Church in Oklahoma City when I had just finished college. I remember clearly the crisp evening air for long walks, but I still cherish the deep conversations that were inspired by my traveling companions.
My next experience was what brought me to the Episcopal Church: A trip to South Africa to serve at a small church in Kagiso. It was a turning point for me post breast cancer to be with a committed group of Christians who delight in serving the Lord and embrace new experiences.
Since then, I’ve been on church trips to the Holy Land, Greece and Turkey, and England (tracing our Anglican roots). In all cases I’ve met the most interesting people and had the most engaging conversations. But most important of all, I’ve learned more about myself.
This week begins my Camino. I expect that I will again meet the most interesting people that God wants me to meet and I will have the best conversations. I suspect that I will learn even more about myself through these new friends.
Please pray for me and our 30 pilgrims as we travel to visit where people have sought a clearer understanding of their faith for almost 1000 years.
Peace, my friend,