The Camino de Assisi.
The Way of St Francis.
Italy: From Florence to Assisi, then on to Rome. Trek For A Dream.
Post 21: July 12, 2018, Thursday. Made it to Piediluco. Still hot!
In Piediluco, Italy. Gone 32 days. Day 30 on The Way.
The little signs. Be realistic.
If you don’t believe you can hear from God, you’re not being realistic. There is one big massive advantage of doing the Camino. You have lots of time . . . to think. To pray. To work on issues. And the things you want to change in your life. And as you go along on this Camino, this great Spiritual path, you get little signs. Actual little signs, and actual Spiritual signs. The Camino is self-selecting. Those that are here . . . are here, for a purpose. So, all the pilgrims are interesting. Three Caminos. And, everyone is interesting and worthy of long discussions.
The pull of this Camino is getting intense. The goal of making it to the end is getting intense, and I no longer have those doubts knocking at the door. I’ve gotten the little signs. Signs we all need that we are on the right track. Without the little signs I feel lost, sometimes abandoned, and ultimately confused. I am in the grind stage right now, that I get in with all worthy goals. That stage where I just have to grind it out, keep going, step by step, thought by thought, with no . . . giving up. The trek from the wonderful Convent of Monteluco through to Macenano, then to boring Ceselli, then on to deadly quiet Arrone was . . . grinding, hot, boring, difficult, vacuous . . . as I searched for deeper meaning with sweat poring off me, bugs and mosquitoes biting my exposed legs and arms, and looking for someone to talk to, a pilgrim, a passerby, a dog or stray cat. I did a lot of talking to, of course, the Lord, but I don’t want my secular friends to go all Joy Behar on me. Is that her name? I’m a Christian, I talk to God. Yes, and He does hear me, and us, and you, and He does respond. I’ve had so much help by now along this Way, and received so many little signs, that once again, my faith grows and grows which is what happens . . . on the Camino. And in life, I’ve had the big signs. Right now, I love the little signs.
And so this morning, I was up early at Miralago in Piediluco, sipping my caffeamericano, and, of course, studying my guidebook for the next trek. And this wonderful man came up and asked me: are you a writer? That’s what he and his wife had guessed. The man is Uri Ben-Ya’acov and he and his wife, Raya, had just finished a conference at Titignano Castle at Orvieto, Italy, not far from where we were. The conference was called scienceandnonduality and he was one of the noted speakers. Ben and Raya are from Israel, and Jewish. Which is cool, because I’m a Christian and I love my Jewish brothers and sisters and have been to Israel twice. I looked over the materials, and he urged me to attend the conference when it comes to San Jose in October. The conference looked interesting to me, but somewhat new age, and I was looking for a little hint of God in the program, but couldn’t find anything. Basically, I felt I had gone down this new age path long long ago, before I was a Christian and it was a dead end for me. . . . So, what am I getting at here with this post.
It’s very simple. Ben, a secular Jew asked me why I was doing this Camino, and do I hear from God? Do I get little signs? Yes, I said, and I asked Ben to consider two verses from the Jewish Bible that are dear to my heart. First is Psalm 32:8. It’s on the back of my lawyer business card, but don’t tell anyone. No one looks back there.
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the
way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.”
Yes, I hear from God. I get little signs, I hear him in my heart, and sometimes He slams with a Big Sign. Mercy, that led to a nice discussion, and I was thankful that I had had several days of seeing little signs pointing me in the “way which I shalt go,” and I followed those signs, and I made it to my destination, and I had just spent three days navigating the actual little signs, and meditating on how God also sends us, me, little signs, and I love the Camino, because I can see them and hear them so much better. And hearing from the Lord and reading His Word is where I can find wisdom. And then I asked Ben to consider another verse from the Jewish Bible, Proverbs 24:3-4.
By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
I love this verse. And I remember it by thinking of it as my 24-7 verse. 24. And 3+4 =7. Easy to remember. And (try) to apply it 24-7 in my life (hard at times). And Ben and I had a nice discussion. I told him, yes, I would try to attend his conference in San Jose, California. The state I live in, California. And as I tried to not scratch my mosquito bites, I thought, I miss my state. And I thought, you know, if you don’t believe you can hear from God, you’re just not being realistic. I told Ben I remembered what David Ben-Gurion said:
“Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.”
So true. I take it another step.
If you don’t believe you can hear from God, you’re not being realistic.
Ben had to go. They were on a schedule. I hope I see him again in San Jose. On the Camino of life.
I miss all my friends and family. Hope to see you all soon.
Can you see the little sign? The yellow and blue paint on the tree. On the path to Macenano.
There it is again. The yellow and blue paint. Mercy! I was lost when I saw that little sign. It really helped to find it. It was so faded I thought possibly I shouldn’t count on it, but . . . I did.
And there it is again on the building. Mercy, it is so faint. One of the reasons I prefer to walk with other pilgrims. You need lots of eyes to stay on the path. And . . . on the Path. The Way. Never underestimate good friends.
Sometimes the neglected shrines, with dead plants, and faded appearance, makes me sad. I still say a prayer. I just lean my poles against the shrine and say, Little Shrine, I see you, and I send a prayer up. In God’s way of looking at things, you may be just as important as all those big Cathedrals I’ve visited. So, I sat there and had some fruit and wafers for lunch. And it was good.
Uri Ben-Ya’acov. Ben’s topic at the conference was: “Consciousness Strives to Understand Itself.” Heavy. And, of course, I was politely thinking how that compares to Proverbs 3:5 . . . From the Jewish Bible. “Lean not on your own understanding.” In fairness to Ben, we still have a lot to discuss. I hope we can in the future . . . somewhere along the Camino.