Archbishop Jason Gordon

Archbishop

​Meseta III: Unless You Become Like A Little Child

​Meseta III: Unless You Become Like A Little Child

Many days ago I met a young German who was passing me. He asked me while passing; "How is it? "I said; "It is beautiful"! He responded by saying that the landscape was all the same; it was "ugly and boring". I was in shock. I said to him; "Ugly and boring would be sitting at home in an office or a locked up room. This is beautiful!"

I told the story to several people and could not understand how with such visual beauty and opportunity to walk, anyone in their right mind could ever see this place as ugly and boring. I met the young man in Leon and we both recounted the exchange. For him it was a game changer. He told his friends the story and laughed and learnt the lesson.

Today I have reached to Astorga, the official end of the Meseta. Is it? Only God knows. I understood today how my young German friend felt. At that time he we walking for six weeks and had covered over 1200 Km. The challenge of walking had gotten to him. Today it got to me. The flu still lingering, the blister makes walking hard and we were walking all day along a road - long dull and boring. To make matters worse I missed the town for breakfast and walked for three hours straight with nothing to eat and no break.

Yes, at twenty one days in, I became my German friend. I understood how the aches and pains could pull you from the beauty to see only the obvious. It is amazing how quickly the awe and wonder that we were given by birth-right evaporates.

Have you ever seen how little children could make an adventure out of anything? They see the possibility and the story and imagination and they are in another world. We grow people out of this."Be real" we tell them, or "Grow up!"

I went walking the town this afternoon and met Jaron, a young man from Holland. We spoke about the day and the scenery. Jaron said, "I like the highway walking.It reminds me that I have another world to these people who are shushing by at speed. This allows me to go into myself and really appreciate this time, the walk and the Camino. The ugly exterior allows me to go inside".

Jaron has not lost the sense of awe and wonder that we were given as children. He found another way to walk the monotonous parts of the Camino. He walks the inner Camino whenever the outer Camino is too challenging. Wow!

Our physical condition so influences our outlook in life. A few aches and pains and my outlook has shrunk. Does this ever happen to you? Imagine if this became a permanent condition? What if this is how you saw the world? That would be a disaster.

Walking the town I saw another magnificent cathedral and another Gaudi Palace built for the bishop of Astorga. It is now a museum. The beauty of the two buildings and the charms of the town are amazing. More amazing are the people you meet while on the Camino. Jaron is not religious; he is not sure if God exists, but he has a rich inner life and a wonderful simplicity of heart and approaches the world with awe and wonder.

This is why Jesus teaches us "Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Now in my Camino, outer and inner, I must become like a little child? What about you?


+Bishop J

Location (Map)

Astorga, León, Spain
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