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Rebecca Gallo is walking the 480-mile pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago despite, or maybe because of, the doubts she has about faith. Journey with her along this ancient path.

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May 22nd, 2012

‘God: Is This the Right Way?’

 
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The trail marker was ambiguous. I thought it pointed to the mowed path off to our right. My new friend Michel thought it meant we were to stay on the paved road we were on. I recalled that my map indicated we’d be walking along a road for most of the day, so I listened to Michel, but was nervous we were going the wrong way. Walking through the Pyrenees with 22 pounds on my back, I didn’t want to have to backtrack.

“Is this the right way?” I asked God in my head.

“Just follow Michel. You’ll be fine.” God replied.

“Can’t you just show me another trail marker so I feel better?”

“Follow Michel,” he said. God often has to repeat things for me. I’m not the best at believing him the first time — or the fifth.

So I followed the Frenchman I’d met only an hour earlier. He had come up quickly behind me as I struggled up the mountain road. We greeted each other after which I thought he’d be on his way. But he slowed his pace to mine and we traded life stories. As I conversed with him in French, I thought of Madame Gold and Madame Calenti — my French teachers in high school — and how much I appreciated their instruction at this very moment. If we were indeed lost, at least I had someone to talk to and help me get back on track.

Neither Michel nor I had ever walked the Camino before. So why did I trust him? Well, God said to. And Michel was confident and convincing despite my obvious apprehensions. And if I’m going to be lost on the Camino, I’d rather be lost with someone than alone.

We walked further along. “Please tell me we’re on the right path,” I said to God.

“Just follow Michel,” he said.

A few minutes later, Michel pointed to a very faded trail mark — red paint barely visible on a large rock on the road side. He was encouraged. I was thinking, “Maybe they changed the trail, tried to remove the mark, but didn’t get it all off.”

“You’re sure this is right?” I asked God.

“Follow Michel,” he told me again. Not in a commanding tone, not frustrated by this being my fourth time asking him the same question. He’s used to repeating his messages to me.

A few minutes later, there it was. A clear sign indicating we were, in fact, on the right path. Relief flooded by body. “Oh, thank you,” I said. God was silent. I’m sure he was smiling and doing his best not to say “I told you so!”

God sends me “signs” all the time. Ideally, I see them and trust in them. Sometimes they’re clear as day standing in my path and I still refuse to see them. Other times they appear ambiguous to me. In which case, God sends help. On that second day on the Camino, help came in the form of Michel.
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Are there signs you’re ignoring? Are there signs that appear to be ambiguous? Take some time to recognize the help God sends when the sign isn’t clear to you.

 
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The Author : Rebecca Gallo
In the spring of 2012, Rebecca Gallo spent six weeks walking the Camino to Santiago. Rebecca writes about putting into practice the lessons she learned on that journey. She's continuing her spiritual journey -- looking for deeper meaning, asking questions of all she's believed before, and finding answers in the people she meets and the experiences she has along the way.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Rebecca Gallo

    Hello All – thank you once again for your comments.

    Thanks to Penni for posting her questions and to Jane for answering them like I would. I believe whenever you listen to your heart, your intuition, the voice in your head, go with your gut, it’s all God really. To me, at least. And I find that whenever I listen and go with that, I’m never steered wrong. It’s reassuring to know that when I’m unsure, I can ask my heart and I will get an answer if I listen. It’s usually not a clear definitive answer, so I have to trust it, which is not always easy!

    Sue Repko – am so curious about what is going on in your life based on your comment! But it is true…sometimes it looks like the wrong direction…but that’s because often the reason ‘why’ is not given to us until later than we’d like!

    Yes, Mom. I think often we don’t listen because it’s not the answer we’re looking for. It’s such a fascinating thing – this going with your intuition, your heart, God, whatever it is people call it.

    Sr. Jeana – Oh how excited I am for you! Where will you start? When will you end? I very well may see you!

    Bob – you never know!

    And how wonderful is it that my mother knows how to post comments to a blog! I remember when she was first learning to use the internet. Wow, how far she has come. I am so proud!

  • Mary Ann

    Happy Memorial Day Rebecca!
    Walking the Camino with you in spirit has been a tremendous sign for me-before this, i only walked The Way in my dreams
    …keep the pictures coming along with your wonderful posts; you are surely going into the deep as JPII directed. Keeping you in prayer.

  • Sue Repko

    Sometimes the wrong direction turns out to be the right one after all. Maybe that’ s where I’m headed.

  • Patricia

    I can relate we look or listen but we do not see or hear it is a good thing He is persistent and patient with us. I look forward to reading more of your journey. God’s Blessings.

  • Sr. Jeana

    I love reading your posts about the Camino, because after 12 years of wanting to do it, next month I get to help lead a group of college students walking it! Can’t wait!

  • Jane K

    Penni….yes she heard God’s voice…in her heart. It’s the quiet answer we get in the silence of our mind…when we turn our thoughts to God…and listen with our hearts.
    Stay the course Rebecca…you are inspiring many with your journey and your reflective thoughts along the way. May God keep you company all along the way. :-)

  • Penni

    What exactly is ambiguous here? She says several times she heard Gods voice! If I heard, actually heard, Gods voice I would not be wary any longer! Really! Now, the sign she saw, I get that but did she really hear God in the statements before and of she did, why was the sign such a big deal! I would freak flat put if I heard Gods voice!

  • Deacon Bob Davis

    OK, here’s the deal, Becky…
    when you’re done with this, you need to take it all, maybe expand it a bit, and put it in a book! It’s a real inspiration! Thanks!

  • Tara C

    Wonderful news! Listen carefully and continue questioning. We never know how He might respond.

  • Mom

    And sometimes we miss the answer b/c we haven,t asked the question??? Or not the answer we are looking for???

  • Mom

    Serendipity!!

  • Garnette Arledge

    Beautiful entry today, Rebecca. Here it’s cold and rainy, been looking forward to more Camino wisdom. And pop, here it is.

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