What to Leave Behind

Seven days from today is the beginning of my Camino venture. I will fly to Paris next Tuesday, from where I will travel to St. Jean Pied de Port, the beginning of the Camino Francais.

One of the essential rules for a 500-mile walk is to keep your pack light. So there is a premium on making good decisions about what to take and what to leave behind.

Right now, with 1.5 liters of water, my pack weights about 21 pounds, which is about 4 pound heavier than I’d like it to be. What to take out? Therein lies the rub. Every time I think of what I can take out, I think of two more things I “should” probably take with me. Somehow, so many things seem essential.

Then I remind myself of Jesus’ admonition to the apostles before he sent them out: “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.” Trust, says Jesus, that I will provide you with all that you really need.

So I’ll take a deep breath and go through the pack again, recognizing that there are probably several things here that are less essential than the things Jesus instructed the apostles to leave behind. Things I will probably do just fine without.