I’m currently in a smelly hostel wide awake at 4am in Barcelona hearing four men snoring so why not write on my iPhone?
In about 2 days I’m going to start a walk called the Camino de Santiago. Which is a 500 mile walk throughout Spain! I found out about this as I was doing some research for the 4TS and googling friendships!
I ran into a story about two best friends who did the walk. One man has a disease similar to ALS and asked his best bud if he would want to do the walk with him and his best bud said,
“I’ll push you.”
And he pushed him the whole 500 miles in a wheel chair.
Doing an event like this with a friend or more importantly with a “best friend” would have meant the world to me.
It’s something I long for.
Something I dream about.
But that’s not what I get to experience. In fact, the longing for a best friend or loss of a best friend is something I have been trying to let go of or wish didn’t exist in my life.
But as I’ve been preparing for this trip I read something about the Camino that someone wrote that I haven’t forgotten.
“Don’t be afraid to do the Camino alone, and don’t be afraid to like it.”
And it’s the last part that has been getting to me.
“....Don’t be afraid to like it.”
And the truth is, I’m happy I’m doing this alone. But I don’t want to tell myself I like it because I feel like I will lose!
I will lose the battle I have against the Church for better community!
I will lose the battle against the Church for friendship to be more valuable.
I will lose the battle against the Church that I can’t always be “alone with God.”
I will lose the battle against the Church that I wasn’t made to be alone with God.
I will lose the battle against my friends that I feel have screwed me in the past.
I will lose the battle against my own thoughts that if I do things alone I will die a slow lonely death.
If I like this I’m afraid that means I can still keep living life and find fulfillment not getting what I want.
And worse of all, if I like it, that means struggling with homosexuality doesn’t mean it’s a struggle that feels like a lonely death everyday.
Instead liking this will be a submission to a death that leads to resurrection.
Christians who struggle with homosexuality have a fear of being and dying alone.
But the reality is, everyone dies alone. It is the one thing that we all do alone.
Sometimes I wonder if we try to run from this truth.
A truth that has been going on since the beginning of humanity.
We run to love to get away from this.
Most humans long for a companion. Even today I was talking to a 26 year old Argentinian who also came to Barcelona alone and visited the sights, he said he didn’t talk to anyone for 8 hours and he needs to celebrate the beauty of Barcelona with someone and he didn’t have anyone.
Now today we are going to tour Barcelona together.
Being alone and doing things without my friends or a best friend sounds like the end of the world to me.
As most of my guy friends had a dream and longing to be married and the Church being the best place for this to happen....
I, with some same sex attraction, struggling with homosexuality, masculine identity problems, and the longing for great friendship, wanted to go on adventures with my friends and right now the Church seems to sometimes be the last place for this, not always though. Things are slowly changing, especially with more and more singles being a part of the Church.
But this new found idea of “liking” things I do alone is scary to me.
And let’s start with my death. I wonder if I should like it since it is the door to resurrection.
The door to being like my King.
Dying to my fears opens up doors.
Doors that lead to more discipleship and friendships.
Doors that lead to knowing God more which is scary.
Doors that lead to more responsibilities and knowledge.
Doors that lead to sacrifice, risk, and thrills.
As a church kid I was never taught to do things alone. I was actually taught I would get married one day and fulfill God’s will for my life.
Even at biola I had to hear so many men and women explain to me that the way life works is that God puts two people together (usually a husband and wife) and sends them out for mission.
Boy was that bullshit.
I’m learning more than ever that God is bound by no human idea and seems to be bound by his own pursuit of beauty and wildness.
He isn’t the husband that wants the American life and comfortable career.
He is the husband that married a whore.
The God that became a man.
The God that became a human king.
The God that debates with humans.
The God that speaks without sounds and holds without hands.
The Father that opened his house to everyone who wants in.
I’m learning that God isn’t afraid to get risky and adventurous.
But I am.
And liking the Camino as I do it alone feels like I’m giving in to the ways of God.
It doesn’t mean that community isn’t important. Actually the Camino is all about community.
It doesn’t mean that marriage isn’t important, which I know many feel like I disregard just because I lower its value in the church.
It doesn’t mean I don’t need friendship, which I actually do because I would not be a Christian without my friends.
Right now it seems liking the Camino as I do it alone Might mean that I need to not find comfort in what I want for my life (a best friend, or “the one”) but find comfort that in any circumstance,
especially the circumstance of death and loneliness, the most scary of circumstances,
God has already walked that part of the road before me and he is waiting for me on the other side.
He doesn’t want me to find comfort in having a companion the way evangelicals read the genesis account.
He doesn’t want me to be “truly loved and known” the way the gay community and evangelical community teach marriage apparently accomplishes.
Actually since I have been getting older, I’m Realizing most married folks don’t know their partners fully. And that is okay.
If anything, God wants me to find comfort in his great commission!
“Go to all the world and preach the gospel.”
“Make disciples.” (Not nuclear families, he didn’t say that. Like Jesus didn’t say to all his followers, “you all need to get married,” like he didn’t say that at all. He didn’t say we all deserve to get married and date. I’m exhausted hearing the gay community and evangelical community tell me we all deserve “true love.” The true love that marriage offers. They are trying to sell me an idol and I’m trying to call “bullshit” on that one.
Making disciples is a rough teaching when you think about it.
That means Jesus made a point of reference for a christians life whenever a Christian is trying to figure out their purpose in life.
God’s Kingdom come, his will be done.
And the beauty of following Jesus’ great want for his followers to accomplish is that we don’t really walk alone in life.
Making disciples, spending time with people that don’t know the gospel, inviting them into your life, into your Netflix chill nights, your vacations, your pains and suffering,
all that means is that you get more friends and more ways of being known and more ways for humans to know their king.
Well, I have 500 miles of walking ahead of me.
Actually, before that. A 6 hour bus ride, than a two hour bus ride. Then 2 days, then I’ll walk.
And the first lesson or two I’ve learned is.
“Don’t be afraid to do things alone.”
“And don’t be afraid to like it.”