We’re about a void in life that each of us MUST fill. True but it sounds too presumptuous.
Okay, we’re about health. Yeah that’s the ticket. Physical, relational, intellectual and spiritual health. Everyone is interested in at least one of those! No, everyone claims to offer those things. This IS deeper.
Nature! Fresh air, the outdoors and hiking. But we don’t need ANOTHER hiking MeetUp group. Uhg.
Here it is. We are about the Camino de Santiago and you can find out everything you need to know about the Camino at this link: ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago ). Now that you’ve visited the link, you don’t need us because you know every there is to know about the Camino. Never mind that. Next.
Got it. We’re about helping you prepare for actually walking the 550 mile Camino de Santiago yourself. (Sigh!) There’s already one or maybe two MeetUp groups that do that.
This is harder than I thought.
The truth is… Wait! That’s it! We are about truth, transparency, sharing your story with people who actually want to hear it. Everyone has a story. Don’t you love it when someone is interested to hear it? We are about life’s journey, a quest, a pilgrimage if you will, to find the truth to fill the void.
The Camino de Santiago, whether one experiences it in Spain or the Minneapolis Metro, can be the beginning of a pilgrimage, a quest which most likely will result in a new view of one’s life, new paradigm or view of the world.
And to make this as enjoyable as possible we will meet out of doors in the sunshine and suck fresh air into our lungs and exercise our legs and eat granola, birdseed and stuff. Actually, I’d prefer pizza, but you know what I mean. And the truth is that we will probably fill the void by thanking God for all of this beautiful nature and good food to eat.
For Who? The person who will get the most out of this MeetUp is one who not only has a special interest in the Camino but is also looking for personal life growth. Events in this MeetUp will not only be enjoyable but offer a personal challenge in the life realms of the physical, intellectual, spiritual and relational. This is for ALL adult ages.
The person who will give the most to this MeetUp is the one who wants to share, encourage and enjoy the journey of service and growth with others.
OK, enough of the one liners. The effect of experiencing the Camino de Santiago is typically a profound one. Pilgrims, as they call themselves, return home (from Spain) to find that their view of life has changed. For me, the change was unexpected, positive and deep. The pilgrimage in “real life” actually begins when returning home.
People from all over the world travel to Spain, to walk the Camino in search of something. I feel that a good number of them are there to fill a void, heal a wound, face a new life challenge or find the answer to a question, any of which they might not even be aware of. What I learned on the Camino was that if I approached people with interest, sensitivity, humility and respect, they actually WANTED to hear what I, the "American" believes about God. This is an open door to the world. Literally!
So here I am, putting this MeetUp together for people to share and share-a-like their experiences and questions and thoughts about this ancient pilgrimage "El Camino de Santiago" and Christ. After all, it was (and still is?) a Christian Pilgrimage. But this isn't just about heady conversation. It is about getting out there on the local trails and enjoying God's creation while at the same time meeting someone new... who maybe has already walked "The Way" or ... maybe not.
So lets not limit this to tromping around the woods and suburban byways for exercise alone! Let's make this REALLY enjoyable and rewarding.
Interaction will be centered around one or more of the three main activities: Walking/hiking, sharing simple meals or refreshment and facilitated discussions. All three of the activities will provide a nonthreatening, informal social environment for meeting others, sharing thoughts, questions and experiences. Experience not required. Simply show up with the desire grow and learn. Knowing Pilgrims, I'm confident there will be plenty of help, encouragement and advice to go around.
If a discussion is a planned part of the event, the topic will be included within the event announcement.
Expect prayer as a normal part of the event. Actually, you might pray for me right now because I've not done anything like this before! Yikes! What am I getting into?!
One thing is for sure. I look forward to meeting you!
P.S. - As someone much smarter than me some long time ago said, “Sorry this letter was such a long one. I didn’t have time to write a short one.”