I recently read a friend’s wise post about being single (or should I say, “a wise friend’s post about being single”? Both are true). In my opinion, “Nell” writes of the pains and joys of life with wisdom and grace. What else shall I say? … I think she bears witness to the fact that vivere Christus set, et mori lucrum. I think that the heart of her post is this paragraph, in which she describes the night after she and her companions on the Camino de Compostela realized that they were very near the Cathedral, the goal of their journey:
We threw an impromptu party that night, like the homeless vagabonds we were, in the parking lot of the gym where we were spending the night. We ordered pizza and played music, danced and then sat in a circle and spontaneously burst into prayer and sharing and reflection. This night remains one of my favorite memories, not just of the Camino, but of my entire life-experience. It’s cliché to say that it “changed my life,” so I won’t say it, but I will say that I approached the next day differently and I approached my next Camino differently, with the realization that arriving in Santiago was sacred…but so was every step that brought me to Santiago, every conversation that fueled me, every sacred face who shared the road with me, every honey-roasted peanut shared on the side of a highway, every decade prayed with grubby, dehydration-puffed fingers on our rosary beads. Every moment walked on the Camino was a gift. Granted, they were gifts that tended to push me to my physical and spiritual and everything-else limits, but gifts nonetheless.
Ah! The age-old journey/life analogy! And, furthermore, a Christian take on the analogy!
Two things occur to me here: It seems to me (1) that the journey/life analogy and the Christian narrative or view of life go together – in other words, that the Christian view of the world is essentially one of journey, of movement; and (2) that there is no other worldview that speaks to the spiritual and emotional needs of life as it really is, and gives it more satisfying meaning, than the Christian worldview.
Is there a better way to build one’s life, than to build it upon solidly-grounded hope and gratitude?
Is there a better way to approach suffering than to face it “head-on,” with all honesty, strengthened by such hope and gratitude?
And is there a better equation for being able to live freely in sincere love, than to combine unshakable hope, gratitude, and honesty?
Of course, as implied above, one must have a sufficiently solid basis for a strong hope and gratitude. If this does not exist for a person, than they cannot face suffering head-on; or if they do, then they are exposed to despair.
But for people like Nell, the Christian worldview, summed up in the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus Christ provides just this solid basis for a meaningful life of hope, gratitude, honesty, and love.
For her, the teachings and person of the now living Jesus Christ provides a new power for life. She can live (walk a long journey) with authenticity, because she knows who she is, where she came from, where she’s going, and that HER SAVIOR LIVES. If you haven’t yet read her post, or are unfamiliar with her blog, then, in my humble opinion, “get with it!”