Refraining From Evaluating

There is a tale that I only remember vaguely. A man’s son breaks his leg and the villagers all shake their heads about what bad news that is. The man shrugs and says, “we’ll see.” Turns out the broken leg saves the son from going off to war. There are a number of other twists to the story, all designed to express the idea that we are often not able to say whether something that happens is good or bad.

I have thought of that story several times in recent days.

The other day we missed the turn for the scenic route, meaning that we had many kilometers of walking alongside the road. Bad news – except that the shorter route allowed us to get to Astorga the next day without having to walk 30+ kilometers to do so.

Yesterday, we had planned to walk to Foncebadon, anticipating several long and difficult days ahead of us. But threatening storm clouds caused us to stop in Rabanal instead. Bad news – except that the monks at the monastery at Rabanal do Gregorian chant every evening at Vespers; it was lovely.

I could give several other examples, but you get the idea. We are quick to label things good or bad, often lacking sufficient knowledge to make those judgments. On the Camino we keep reminding ourselves that it is all part of the experience, however it might seem in the moment. And that “we’ll see” is not a bad attitude to have.

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