They were life-long friends. One had a progressive neuromuscular disease that confined him to a wheel chair and would eventually take his life. The afflicted man, Justin, said he always wanted to take a pilgrimage to Santiago, Spain. His buddy, Patrick, said “Why not? I’ll push you.”
Thus starts a non-fiction book by the same name, “I’ll Push You.” It would be a 700 Kilometer trip or about 500 miles.
Of course, like any other great endeavor, it turned out to be a lot more than they bargained for. They trudged through mud up to Justin’s hubcaps, maneuvered around rocks and steep grades. This was all while pushing and pulling a 250-pound man. Not only would they learn what the friendship commitment entailed, they would reexamine what it means to love unconditionally and were they really doing that—both here and at home.
They knew the facts. They were both members of church bodies. Trudging up a hill with a 250-pound man in a wheel chair puts quite a different spin on things.
There are an extreme amount of things to consider. If I am going to fulfill a need, I need to know what that need is. A true fellowship in the Lord knows other folks being in relationship with them. It is not just about their name. They know who they are and what they need.
There is also the issue of what is our best for Christ and the ones He loves. The two men wondered about their families back home and what it meant to be fully accountable to them.
“I am a bread winner.” I am too busy with important tasks to simply play with my kids and love my spouse. What is real and what is an excuse? Do I really have no time or am I hoarding it for me?
They came back from Spain with a different look at life. At the last stop before Santiago, there is an alter to leave behind things on the way to their final destination. Maybe the inclination that we can just know Christian things needs to be left behind. We have to be ready to take the next step.
True sacrifice is what we leave on the alter. It is how they got to Santiago. It starts and ends with ourselves.