- Leah Van Someren
My Camino: Nothing But Him
The time for the Camino is two days away and God has thrown me a curve ball. At the beginning of the Race, as I packed my backpack full of every necessity (and many luxuries), my head buzzed with questions. I pondered the difference between my preparation and Jesus’ instructions to His disciples when He sent them out as told in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In each gospel, Jesus tells them to take nothing - no food, pack, money or change of clothes. He sets those closest to Him up for purposeful dependence on God.
Did I still bring my pack with me on the 11 month trip? Yes. Did I feel convicted about doing so? Not at all. But do I believe God brought that question up in me for a purpose? Absolutely. Fast forward to two days ago as I sat, surrounded by everyone’s bags, in a minivan on our way from Transnistria to Moldova, a pitstop before Spain. Laughing about just how big our packs really are, my sweet squad leader, Nichol (bless her heart) giggled, and flippantly said, “What if we were to just send all of our stuff forward on the Camino and do it with nothing?”
I’m certain I suffered whiplash by how fast I spun around. “I’ll do it with you!” sprang out of my mouth so fast, it surprised me just as much as Nichol, who stared at me nervous and bug-eyed, yet with a huge smile. That weighty, throbbing “Yes.” voice I received with The World Race and G42 resounded in my heart. I’ve learned to pay attention to that voice. God brought back my questions at the beginning of the Race while sitting in the van and everything clicked into place.
We have one more month of this wacky, missional, growth-provoking, once-in-a-lifetime adventure — this particular Kingdom journey. God’s pruned me over the last 10 months to be right where I am: at the cusp of actually living out of my utter dependence on Him and Him alone. That I really, truly, actually, for real cannot do ANYTHING — not even exist — without Him. It’s thrilling and terrifying, like gazing into the eyes of your betrothed at the altar or jumping off a cliff.
My Father’s calling me into a radical dependence. This isn’t a test of myself or of God. This isn’t seeking ‘proof’. This isn’t asking my fellow pilgrims for handouts. Instead, it’s being hungry and praying for food. It’s “Gosh, I’m cold. Father, I need a blanket.” It’s simply a personification of this heart posture He’s cultivating. I am prayerfully choosing to take His outstretched hand and, by His invitation, walk these next two weeks of the Camino completely reliant on Him to provide my daily needs. Walking with Him in a profound way, seeking His Kingdom and more than physical needs, ask Him to satisfy the deep longing of my soul like only Jesus can do. Therefore, I’m sending my pack and everything in it to our finish line in Burgos and taking bare minimum with me as I trek 137 miles.
Now, please hear me. I’m not saying those things aren’t important or that they are wrong. I am not saying one must disregard material possessions in order to come to fuller dependence on God but I’m also not saying doing so won’t bring you to a fuller dependence on Him either. I believe it will inherently because of who He inherently is: a giving and faithful God of provision, protection, refuge, help and overflow who desires to be depended on by His kids. When we look to anything outside God, be it even good things physical or otherwise, we run the risk of depending on them instead of Him for fulfillment, comfort, hope, security and safety. And can I just reiterate, I’m NERVOUS. Like, even typing this, my heart is beating abnormally fast.
BUT in it, Holy Spirit continues to remind me:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matt 6:31-33
Considering Reckless vs. Reckless: As Nichol and I talked through it more, she brought up the difference between unheeding boldness in following God’s direction and stepping into folly. I am not foolish, thoughtless or careless. I strive to be a good and faithful steward with the things, money and life that God’s given me. Holy Spirit is aiding in our discernment and just like Jesus didn’t send His disciples alone, Nichol and I will be doing this together, meeting up at the same cities each night. My bag will be shipped forward and waiting safely at the post office in Burgos. I will have my cell phone and passport. The Camino is known to be incredibly safe and it will be high season with plenty of people. Although we are not walking together specifically, the rest of my squad will be spread out along the way, all traversing toward Burgos. Nichol and I also feel strongly we are meant to pay our way for our albergues as most are run by volunteers and have decided to bring enough to cover the most basic accommodation.
Other than that, I’ll have only that which I have on my person carried in a small shoulder bag (see photo). Mindful ‘lack’, opening my heart to be filled by the only One that satisfies, loving and serving my fellow pilgrims, proclaiming His gospel and singing His praises for 137 miles. Welcoming a testimony of dependence on God alone. My life’s heartbeat forever more.
Thanks be to God.