Friends, I heard stories of people in their 20ies (!!) giving up and going home after a few days of aches and pains and blisters here on the camino!
I can only repeat myself:
this is NO fun and it is definitely NOT a holiday!
So I highly recommend if you are planning on coming here, that you get your motives for doing this very straight and clear – believe me, you will need YOUR personal reasons for doing this to keep you going when it gets tough and believe me again, it will get tough! It does for everyone!
So I can see a few species of people for whom this may be fun – I haven’t met them yet, everybody I meet is aching and complaining and tired. But if you are:
– extremely outdoorsy and fit as a sneaker and enjoy walks up and down with a heavy load and in extreme weather conditions
– have no social boundaries and enjoy sleeping with 20 or more strangers from all over the world in a very small, usually overheated space – with all the different smells and sounds ( I found cheesy socks do smell different every time and every “song of snore” is unique!)
– either are a man and never meet any women except in albergues or are a woman and enjoy spending your days and nights mainly in male company
– other than that, perhaps if you are different from us average mortals or seek a challenge in pretty much every area of your life, then you might enjoy it – right now, at this moment, for instance, I am sitting at the table where everyone eats and the guy next to me on the sofa is clipping his (toe!!!)nails – if you like to see people do things you yourself wouldn’t do in public, THEN you may like this.
There are quite a few people who would give some sort of spiritual reason for doing this, in their belief system they may even be seeking their “god”, too, I’ve seen muslim feedback in one of the guest books and I’ve also seen the sanskrit sign for “om” and all other kinds of other new age crap… so these dudes seem to have their reasons clear!
The people who say they just came for fun seem to struggle the most. So if your friend should ask you if you’d like to come along, do your research first and then decide, at least that’s what I suggest…
Don’t think you’ll like it just because you are a Christian, you’ll need more reasons than that, but of course it makes things easier, because you can ask THE LORD about it.
I guess it is just like the rest of our lives… if it gets tough, we better have our motives and goals clear, otherwise, we are prone to give up. Even here, we are always moving about our lives, taking ourselves with us no matter where we go and no matter if we move around by foot, by car, by bus or by plane… light and shadow aspects, saved and unclean parts of us – all there, so the spiritual battle within and the battle over our souls is the same here as everywhere – why wouldn’t it be?
And as everything else, this, too, is a lot easier and much better and richer and more fulfilling and more sensible with and for OUR LORD.
Me, I like to remind myself of the sacrifice OUR LORD JESUS gave for us on the cross and compared to what HE did, all of my trials seem quite meaningless… and when that isn’t enough – and there’s times when it isn’t, I like to consider myself honoured and chosen to be one of those who MAY share in HIS sufferings – and I like to recall and recite over and over again – not only here, but also in other challenging life situations
1 Peter 4: 13
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
One of my favorite encouraging scriptures!
As usual, I hope and pray that some of this would inspire, heal or amuse you, and that THE LORD may bless you richly in all areas of your life, that HE may keep you and shine HIS face upon you. In JESUS’ name I pray. Amen.