“We brought nothing into this world, nor have we the power to take anything out. If we have food and clothing we have all that we need” (1 Timothy 6:7-8).
This is a truth that Terri and I really experienced when we walked the Camino. As I mentioned in past blog entries, what slowly sinks in as you walk the Camino de Santiago is how beautiful and simple life can be without the accumulation of all those things we call wealth. The Camino experience is beautiful in this way. It strips away things and you live a very uncluttered life for 5 or 6 weeks.
I wish I could say that I was able to maintain this way of living once we returned back home. It is a struggle not being dominated by consumerism, the desire to have, accumulate, and consume things. I would like to say that I have made some progress but this is a life long battle in the culture we live in. Any movement toward the more simple life is counter to the major drives of our society. And it takes some conviction and strong beliefs to resist the pull of our world of things and their accumulation.
One of the coolest aspects about the Camino, is walking this simple life with so many people doing the same thing. We all experienced the stripping away of things and this naturally frees you to experience the more important elements of human life, the company of fellow Camino walkers, friendship, conversation, contemplation, prayer. Life’s true treasures. I will leave you with this last quote that I think is a good one for us all to ponder when we consider what is the true meaning of “wealth”.
“What if we were to expand our definition of wealth to include those things that grow only in time—time to walk in the park, time to take a nap, time to play with children, to read a good book, to dance, to put our hands in the garden, to cook playful meals with friends, to paint, to sing, to meditate, to keep a journal. What if we were to live, for even a few hours, without spending money, cultivating time instead as our most precious resource?” (Sabbath by Wayne Muller).