Finding Fellowship on the Sacred Journey
June 22, 2022
“Caminante, son tus huellas el camino y nada más;
Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al anda”
[Traveler, your footprints are the only road, nothing else.
Traveler, there is no road; you make your own path as you walk.]
— Antonio Machado, Caminante, no hay camino
We sat in a circle listening intently to the poem being read. We paused at the end of the Spanish words and listened for the translation, allowing the words to sink in:
“Traveler, there is no road, you make your own path as you walk.”
I felt the words resonate within me — there was something truly liberating about this idea, something that this poem gave language to that I did not have before. Perhaps it was because I felt a little less alone in knowing this poem was read by my co-fellow Josh, who was also navigating his own path. Perhaps it was in sharing this poem together, our connection as an interfaith group deepened a little more, finding parallels and connections across our spiritual traditions.
The inaugural Sacred Journey fellow retreat, which took place last month in Chicago, was a deeply meaningful experience for me — as both a fellow and the facilitator for our opening reflective session. As a fellowship that brings together interfaith faith leaders from diverse worldviews, we are still getting to know each other not just through our professional roles but also through the multifaceted identities that shape us.
Our opening activity was a facilitated reflection centered around sharing a spiritual text from our worldviews. Each member of the Sacred Journey fellowship submitted a piece of poetry/spiritual text or story/quote/anecdote that was meaningful to them whether as a source of inspiration, challenge, remembrance, or community. Through our session, we had the opportunity to read our texts aloud to each other and to share why we picked it and what it meant to us. This moment of pause with each other felt like an opportunity for re-connection. Even though we had all met over Zoom for the past year, I felt like I was getting to know my co-fellows in a newer and deeper way.
The opportunity to be together in person, in community, remains such a gift in light of the last two years and the continued ebbs and flows of the pandemic. The sense of urgency of all that needs to be addressed is palpable. For me, as a new attending doctor, perhaps this urgency remains on the forefront of my mind because the start of my career intertwined with the onset of the pandemic. I’ll never be able to separate the two. Yet, it is taught in numerous spiritual traditions, including my own, that these times of urgency and despair are when we most need to pause with ourselves and each other. These are the times when community care is most essential even when it feels so hard to stop going in order to stop to rest and breath together.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Our session together was only an hour and a half of our weekend, yet I still continue to feel moved and inspired by this incredible group of leaders I am continuing to know. Our work spans so many different sectors — as clergy, as healthcare workers, as researchers and non-profit leaders — yet what unites us is a commitment to working towards a liberated world, one rooted in justice and compassion. Seeing everyone through the lens of the stories they shared with each other inspires a sense of gratitude. As I continue on as a traveler creating my own road, I feel reassured to know there are other travelers alongside me.
American Civic Life
American Civic Life
The Sacred Journey Fellowship was made possible by a grant from Fellowship in Prayer. Fellowship in Prayer is a grantmaking organization based in Princeton, NJ. It was founded in 1949 and has been awarding Sacred Journey grants since 2015.