On a balmy summer evening in a small village in northern Spain, I had just finished performing a play in a Korean restaurant owned by a woman from Ireland. The play was about a man chasing a myth, searching for truth amongst a mist of stories. I was performing it in a different location each evening, at the end of that day’s progress on the Camino de Santiago.
As I was clearing up and preparing to have my evening meal on this particular night, a member of the audience approached me. He was stooped with age and well past his physical prime. Holding up his mobile phone, he asked, “You, me, selfie?” I couldn’t resist his charm, but I soon learned his charm was nothing compared to his story.
The man was from Germany, and at 84 years old was walking all 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage on his own. He relayed how slow he was in completing this task, but that he was determined to reach the goal. He explained how his wife had passed away several years before, and his life was very lonely, with no family and little social life.
I asked why he would attempt such a challenge. He hesitated and said, “You will laugh at me.” I assured him I would not.
Looking straight into my eyes, with deep conviction and honesty, he said: “God told me to do it.”
I think about that encounter nearly every day. At the age of 84, not in the best of health, a man felt inspired and moved enough in his heart to act. He acted upon inspiration. He listened, and he was doing what he felt should be done, as simple as that.
What a great inspiration and example to follow.
“No regrets” can be followed by either a question mark or an exclamation point. Which one will you choose?