Finding “The Way”
Seven years ago, I took up an unusual practice during the Lenten season: adventure. I wanted to spend more time in creation and engaged in outdoor activities, especially hiking. Only a couple of weeks in, the physical exertion of hiking combined with the adrenaline rush of a snake encounter led me to an afternoon of sitting on the couch. I figured that if my body didn’t feel like going on a physical adventure, I’d take my mind on the mental adventure of watching a movie.
And what a trip it was.
The Way is the story of a man whose son dies while hiking El Camino de Santiago in Spain. The man flies there to retrieve his son’s body and finds himself inspired to finish the 700-km trek that his son began. Along “the way,” he carries his son’s ashes and meets a diverse group of fellow pilgrims–all broken people in search of “something.”
Even though the story begins with the death of a young man, we discover that until his final breaths he was driven by a passion to live life to the fullest capacity. His father had not embraced life with the same zeal that his son had. But in his son’s death, he took on a passion for life–and life more abundant.
As we approach Calvary, we remember another man who died at far too young of an age. In the death of that Nazarene carpenter, we received a new life, too. As Jesus Christ walked “the way” of suffering for us, we are called to complete the journey that he started towards a heavenly kingdom. As the father in this story carried his son’s ashes with him, we carry Christ with us. The difference is that the one we carry with us is very much alive and desires for us to live. We are all called to complete the adventures that Christ began. Will you take up your backpack and follow “the way, the truth, and the life” to the cross and beyond?
all good things to each of you,
Lectionary Texts for Sunday, March 31, 2019
2 Corinthians 5:16-21