Ever feel disconnected from your steps and the direction they take you in? Or that your steps are minimal and lacking adventure?
Maybe you watched the BBC Two “Pilgrimage: the road to Santiago” last night and followed seven celebrities as they bickered and bantered about God, about sleep (or lack of it) about food, as they struggled to walk, struggled with each other, struggled with the heat and the hills. Maybe you thought, “one day I’ll do it.”
Here’s a suggestion: try a week on the Via Francigena first. It’s the ancient pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome; less well known than the Camino right now, it’s quieter, less touristy, less commercialised (read almost no tourists or commercialisation). And not nearly as steep!
The part that goes though Tuscany is sublime. I’ve walked it several times and each time I love immersing myself in the stunning landscapes, the gorgeous villages, the sacred spaces of ancient churches with mediaeval frescoes. In God.
Somehow the daily rhythm of walking, of being, of just – well, walking, allows the time and space mentally and physically to BE. To allow God to have the space in my mind, my life, that I so often don’t allow for or make time for.
For over 1,000 years pilgrims have walked the very same route, traced their steps along the ancient strada bianca (white stony tracks) over the hills and alongside verdant vineyards. Still, it is each and every step YOU will take that calls to you. If you think you’d like to do it, do it now. Later may be too late.
I will be leading a Pilgrimage in Tuscany along the Via Francigena in September 2018. There are still a few places available – come and immerse yourself and make your steps count?
Enjoy moments of sheer bliss – and sheer hell if you have blisters or can’t get to the top without vast effort. Rest each night at interesting and well-chosen hotels, guest houses or agritourism farms; appreciate time with the Lord as you are led through different Spiritual experiences either while walking or later in the evening devotional slot.
Just 7 days to recalibrate – to think, to breathe, maybe to pray. To connect with your steps as perhaps you’ve never done before. To make those steps count. It could well be life changing.
For full details of the Pilgrimage, go to: http://www.ministriesbydesign.org/italypilgrimages/