The Narrow Gate
This was a reflection written at the end of our first day walking the Camino. It was immensely challenging, especially as my youngest son tired and was physically and emotionally exhausted. The parallel between this journey and our earthly journey is no coincidence. This life is hard and challenging, but there is beauty to be found. Walking with a companion can lighten our load and double our joy. At the end of the journey, may we all have the grace and courage to enter through the Narrow Gate.
June 1st, 2018. Today was the single most difficult day of my life, physically and mentally. It was also one of the most beautiful. We climbed out of St. Jean and crossed over the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles. I believe we covered 18 Miles.
Metaphorically, it was our lives as a spiritual progression. Front the outset, 90% of the trek was uphill. Some easy areas, some steeper and more challenging. There was a period of great fellowship along “the way”. After battling uphill. We arrived at the last 10%, downhill all the way, and it hurt. I’m not complaining but just describing that the last 10% really hurt as our toes rammed the front of our shoes for over 5 kilometers. We prayed that the Lord would hold off the rolling storms creeping up on us (and He did). Along the way, there were superhuman efforts to help each other and make each other hurt less. We carried one another, and encouraged one another to dig deep and just keep moving towards the finish line.
When we got close to the end. There was a refreshing, running brook with healing waters running along side us. The water cooled our feet and spirits. We saw the beauty of the flowers along the stream welcoming us with life and color. At the end, we passed through this very narrow gate as we entered the Refugio. We had arrived. At the end, we celebrated with great wine and conversation. We were blessed to share a dinner with a pilgrim from Croatia named Nenad Šajnović whom we are still friends with today.
Along the way, especially in the last 4 kilometers. We prayed fervently, offered up all the pain, and knew that peace and relief was just around the corner. It was so hard, but it was so worth it, just like a life well lived.
With much love to the people at home, and much hope in what is yet to come, we say#buencamino