O Lord, I am astonished at the difference between my receivings and my deservings, between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness, between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit. (A Puritan Prayer)
I am sitting in a small cafe, only 100 feet from the entrance to the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
I am finished with my walk. I completed the French Way of the Camino de Santiago, then added the bonus round that took me to Fisterra (“the end of the world”) where I got to look out over the Atlantic from Europe’s western most point.
I am feeling overwhelmed with gratitude… for so many things:
For the many, many people who made this trip possible. I will name three:
- Aimee, my partner in life who took on more than I will ever know to allow me to detach, unplug, process and mourn for these many weeks.
- Jeff, my partner in many projects who did not hesitate to release me from my “business” responsibilities.
- Kari, without her advice about the Camino, I would have made dozens more mistakes.
I am thankful for my Camino “family”, the fellow pilgrims who provided companionship, help and celebration along the way. Here are some:
For Creator God, who was my constant companion…
And for all those that Creator sent to remind me that even along the long stretches of the Camino, I was never alone:
For the innumerable steeples and bell towers which watched over me, just as they have watched over millions of pilgrims before. They reminded me every few miles that I was a part of a great throng of spiritual journeyers, that just like the Eucharist table, we share our spiritual life with so many, from across the globe and across the centuries:
I will miss the bells…http://s3.amazonaws.com/tonykriz/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/03032007/img_0178.mov
I am inescapably thankful for the profound privilege of freedom, relationships and resources to have this rare gift of “time.” I hope that I have not wasted it. But even in saying that, I betray that I have been deceived. My life is not the accumulation of productivity. I am not a machine.
I exist to learn to love all others. I exist to learn to love myself.
I hope to return a different man.
Jesus Christ, Son of God… Have mercy on me, a sinner.