Yellow arrows mark the way on El Camino. Each crossroad is marked with an arrow--and sometimes a scallop shell--but the yellow arrows are ubiquitous. Spray painted on rocks, scrawled on sign posts, written on walls and fences. When you come to a crossroads and can´t decide which way to go, all you have to do is look for the yellow arrow and go where it points.
I´ve been thinking real life needs more yellow arrows. Have a major decision to make? Look for the yellow arrow. Not sure about what to have for dinner? Look for the yellow arrow. Uncertain about which life path to take? Look for the yellow arrow.
Of course, prayer and meditation and listening to God SHOULD help with some of those decisions--though maybe not the what to have for dinner one. But I´m not so good at hearing God´s prompting. Sometimes I get an inkling, but more often I go blundering off on my own.
But there´s another sign I look for on El Camino, one that I find even more comforting than the yellow arrow. It´s other pilgrims. Today I walked on my own, and there´s something incredibly comforting about seeing the backs of other pilgrims ahead of me. They reassure me that I´m on the right path. In fact, today when I entered Puenta la Reina, where I am spending the night I totally lost the yellow arrows. It was only following other pilgrims that got me where I needed to be.
So even if life doesn´t come with easy to read yellow arrows that infallibly point us in the direction we need to go, we do have tradition and role models and mentors and friends and family and those who have gone before us to guide and direct us. We do not make our life journey alone.