Lenten Devotion: Walking to Listen
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Walking to Listen
A friend and I recently walked portions of the Camino de Santiago, an ancient spiritual pilgrimage across northern Spain. Our long walk began in St. Jean Pied de Port, a small village in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. After crossing this jewel of mountains in the rain and the wind, we then walked across the western edge of the Meseta, the central plateau of Spain, known for its wide skies. We then made our way through diverse forests and small hillside villages to the city of Santiago where the Cathedral de Compostela soars above the city center in a splendid jumble of spires and sculpture. Our arrival there marked the end of our Camino pilgrimage.
Walking 14 miles or more a day over the course of two weeks was physically challenging and thoroughly exhausting. Yet, this was counter-balanced with a spiritual exhilaration. Walking in silence for hours at a time provided me with daily opportunities to listen for the voice of God. What I heard most often was God assuring me in a melodic whisper that I was God’s beloved and cherished child and that God would ever be my sure and certain strength.
Upon returning home my deepest longing was to keep the Camino connection with God alive in my life. Could I? Like Mary, would I be eager to find the time to quiet myself and listen to Jesus, my divine companion? Or like Martha, would I permit the chatter of worry and the noisy distractions of busyness and obligation drown out the loving and ever-present voice of God? I soon understood that I had to keep on walking, not for the purpose of getting somewhere, but to immerse myself in the wonder and beauty of creation. It is the best way for me to be in silence, to quiet my mind, and to attune my heart and spirit to God.
Rev. Sue Fleenor (Honorably Retired)
SFTS MDiv 1981