For those who have far to travel

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A quiet road under the morning light stretches between the village of Hontanas and the ruins of the Convent of San Antón. The Spanish Meseta is an appropriate place to remember an Epiphany blessing by Jan Richardson titled, "For those who have far to travel.” It works on the Camino, at home, or in the Christmas story.

. . . .


If you could see the journey whole,
You might never undertake it,
Might never dare the first step that propels you from the place you have known toward the place you know not.

Call it one of the mercies of the road:
That we see it only by stages as it opens before us,
As it comes into our keeping step by single step.

There is nothing for it but to go and by our going take the vows the pilgrim takes:
To be faithful to the next step;
To rely on more than the map;
To heed the signposts of intuition and dream;
To follow the star that only you will recognize; 
To keep an open eye for the wonders that attend the path;
To press on beyond distractions, beyond fatigue beyond what would tempt you from the way.

There are vows that only you will know; the secret promises for your particular path
and the new ones you will need to make when the road is revealed by turns you could not
have foreseen.

Keep them, break them, make them again:
each promise becomes part of the path;
each choice creates the road that will take you to the place where at last you will kneel

to offer the gift most needed—
the gift that only you can give—
before turning to go home by another way.


You can find Jan’s webpage containing this poem here.


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It is not too late to sign on for our hike across Galilee (but it will be soon). This coming January we will be walking portions of the “Jesus Trail.” You are cordially invited to come along. Stops include Nazareth, Cana, Magdala, and Capernaum. Click here for more information or email me directly at markziese@gmail.com.