11 years ago, my partner, our young son and I walked 250 miles of the Camino
(a pilgrimage route through north Spain).
We prepared for the challenge well, building up stamina by walking our local hills, weighted rucksacks on our backs, and learning a bit of Spanish in a family evening class.
Truth is, I struggled with the latter, as I don’t seem to be wired up for language learning.
(It’s astounding I’m fluent in my mother-tongue!)
However, an even bigger challenge awaited me.
The Camino route is marked by a series of yellow arrows painted on any available surface at crucial turning points.
Keeping on track is therefore simple – you just follow the ‘Yellow Arrows’.
…it wasn’t that simple for someone like me,
who can have a tendency to want to ‘know in advance’.
Like the Red Arrows display team, I like to know my position
– but the Yellow Arrows of the Camino encouraged me to ‘go with the flow’,
and I discovered a new freedom.
…It wasn’t that simple for someone like me,
who can be a bit of a perfectionist.
Like the Red Arrows, I allow myself no margin for error
– but the Yellow Arrows encouraged me to ‘let go’,
and I discovered the joy of spontaneity.
So this week, when at times I’ve felt unduly anxious, I’ve remembered the Yellow Arrows
‘One step at a time’ I say to myself…
as I focus on the here and now rather than on the ‘what ifs’.
‘Look around and find little joys in little things’ I remind myself…
as I notice a dandelion emerging from a crack in the pavement.
‘I’m glad I could help’ I think….
as I bid farewell to a hiker who’d lost his way in more ways than one.
And just maybe, I’ve been a momentary Yellow Arrow on someone else’s journey through life.
Truth is… ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths’ Proverbs 3.5-6