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For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt of walking and backpacking from place to place especially Europe. Well dreams have a habit of becoming reality when we choose to take the first step. This always seems to sound easier than it really is. For me, the first step was almost preceded by a swift kick in the seat.

After seeing the film “The Way” with Martin Sheen, I was compelled to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. It was calling me. At first, I refused to believe that what I felt was achievable. Things like work, family, and low self-esteem seem to be impassable hurdles.

Little did I know that God had plans for me. It began with a happenstance conversation with a monk at a buffet. I realize this sounds a bit unusual but realize this…God works in mysterious ways. Friar Maurice Richárd, OFM Conv. of Our Lady of the Angels Province to be exact.  He and I began chatting while we gathered up the last remaining cookies at the fall picnic at church.  Some how the topic of movies came up and I explained to him that I had recently watched the most inspiring film called, “The Way”.  His face lite up as he said he too had watched it.  Wow, a kindred spirit dressed in a long brown robe.  I elaborated that I felt drawn to go and to actually walk the Camino (The Way) de Santinago.  No matter what I did, I just could not shake the power of this potential adventure.

Friar Maurice looked at me and said, “Then you must go!”  He explained that God must be calling me to this experience.  Of course, I told him there was no way I would ever be able to get off of work let alone ever be able to break away from my fears.  He continued to gently push me.  I was glad I had the chance to speak with him because he became my mental coach.

From that moment on, I could hear him telling me that God wanted me to go.  Therefore, I promised myself that I would make a plan and take each thing one step at a time.

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