There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened. – C.S. Lewis
As we mentioned in our last post, The Race Before Us is “going on the road” – actually, going on the “camino” – the Camino de Santiago. Despite the travels and the long walk, Bruce will be blogging here at The Race Before Us under the following, temporary subtitle: MY CAMINO- THY CAMINO: The Camino de Santiago & The Walk Before Us. (More on the title and subtitle soon.) Walking the Camino de Santiago was historically a religious pilgrimage for Christians. Today it remains that for many, but others have different, but often related, motivations. (More on that later also.)
MY CAMINO – THY CAMINO: The Camino de Santiago & The Walk Before Us
My good friend, golfing buddy, and fellow Lutheran John likes to kid me by noting that whenever I teach class at Sunday School I somehow reduce everything to the expression – “My Will or Thy Will.” While it’s far from my idea, there is a reason for the repetition or emphasis. It is a useful quip because it expresses perhaps the most profound truth of the Christian faith. In fact, the ideas embedded in the pithy phrase express both the most central issue in the story of man’s relationship to God and the most imposing barrier to repairing what is wrong with the world. These modest questions then will serve as the basis for the more thoughtful of my blog posts as I wander down the road.
The title for this post, therefore, comes from the C.S. Lewis quotation above from his book The Great Divorce. More on this in a later post, but the concept expressed by the “My Will or Thy Will” quip is that man refuses – that we as human beings refuse – to humble ourselves in obedience to God (to God’s will), but we try to achieve our own salvation by doing everything, as Sinatra sang, his own way (our will).
My Camino – Thy Camino. The Camino de Santiago (or, more precisely, the modern-day “Camino Frances” – the French Way) is a 500-mile walk, so we are not likely to write much about running over the next few weeks, but I will describe the walk itself and the scenes and experiences along the way. The trip will also provide a wonderful opportunity for introspection and for writing on issues of faith. Thus, borrowing a theme from the book, The Race Before Us, during our sojourn in Spain, each post will be either about (i) the physical journey (about the walk itself and the sights along the way – a bit like a travelogue) or (ii) the faith or spiritual aspects of the journey (musings about the big questions of life – origin, meaning, morality & destiny – in the context of a Christian worldview).
To emphasize this plan to alternate between the physical and the spiritual, the travelogue or “physical” posts will be denominated by “My Camino” (such as “My Camino I: Climbing Over the Pyrenees”) and the philosophical or “spiritual” posts will be denominated by “Thy Camino” (such as, “Thy Camino I: Sin, Repentance & Pilgrimage”). And, where I can combine the physical journey with the spiritual journey (where I can, if you will, combine the “walk” with the “talk”), the post will be denominated as “My Camino – Thy Camino.”
DISCLAIMER: You have been warned. If you want to follow the journey, but do not want to be troubled by the more philosophical musings, read the “My Camino” posts as I write about what its like to walk twenty miles in the rain, or cram into a “pilgrim hostel”, or understand where Rioja wine comes from, or visit a 12th century cathedral, or walk through the beauty of spring on the Spanish meseta; and ignore the “Thy Camino” posts as I wonder about things like humility, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, salvation, purpose, and other challenging thoughts. To be clear (if not redundant), unless you are interested in exploring questions of doubt and faith and truth, stay away from “Thy Camino” – or else you may never be the same again. Stated differently, if you have satisfied yourself that God does not exist, you will not want to have your confidence in that conclusion shaken by some of my musings here.
Look for the photograph above as a reminder that the post is about the Camino — about “My Camino – Thy Camino”. I will provide other photographs in the body or at the end of most posts as we progress across northern Spain and head for Santiago and the “end of the earth,”