Gratitude (Part One)

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…

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.

3 Responses to “Gratitude (Part One)”

  1. Thank you for taking us along with you.

  2. Gratitude like the Fuel of Life itself ….

    Why don’t we remain ever present & Vigilant to keep our tanks Full if it’s Empowerment ??

    Thx Tony
    Thankful for YOU

  3. I would love to talk when you get back.

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