As a child, I would often hope that the sun wouldn’t set on a traditional summer night, as that would mean the basketball games were over for the day.
As a coach at USC, I would remain awake as long as possible after our final football game, knowing that once the sun rose again it would be a new season and we would have to start over.
As the sun says goodbye on this recent pilgrimage along the Camino De Santiago over the past 21 days, within the small villages and quiet paths in Spain and Portugal, I stare out along the Portuguese coast–holding the sun up with all of my might–trying to get every last moment out of this day, out of this trip.
But reality does set in: the sun sets and tomorrow will be another page in this journey of life…but what will be written?
Over the last decade or so I’ve been fortunate to race from country to country, seeing various wonders of the world and gaining rad passport stamps.
Along the way I’ve been lost, arrested, in love and more. Yet the memories that remain are not of the final destination, rather they are of those met along the way.
The endless philosophical conversation in an Indian cafe along the Ganges River, playing soccer adjacent to The Killing Fields in Cambodia or just talking aimlessly on a path marked by yellow arrows remain the memories that stay with me on the connecting flights home and inspire the next flight out.
On this particular trip along a pilgrimage that has been going on for over 1,200 years–amid green pastures and dark hostels–I watched as every person told their story.
Some shared it through words along the Santiago De Compostela.
Some shared it while writing the name of a lost loved one in chalk at every turn.
Some just spoke to themselves, learning about who they are.
Some even walked with their father, asking about his story…
…yet along a path walked by millions and on a flight home shared by various travelers, the same phrase explodes from my pores.
‘Let the world change you, and you can change the world.’
It doesn’t mean that we will all become the next Ghandi or Mother Theresa if we travel; but remember that their plan was never fame, rather it was service.
They served the world by listening first, allowing the world to impact them first. They then simply lived their story, authentically.
So on this trip home after 200+ km walked, a sweet beard and a record number of cherry’s devoured, I find myself at a conclusion:
If we listen to the world, its stories and its people, then maybe–just maybe–we can influence this society for the better.
If we share our stories while suspending judgement then maybe–just maybe–that affirmation will come true and we will maximize the life we dream of.
If we compete to live presently, to live without limits, to live with an agape love that consumes us, then maybe–just maybe–we will ‘change the world.’
Worth a shot? You tell me.
Thanks for the support along The Way and I hope you are living your story and sharing it.
We’ll be listening.
And Dad, thank you for simply ‘going for a walk.’